Community groups and schools wanting to plant trees as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic are being told to get their applications into the Woodland Trust soon.
The charity says its free scheme is the perfect way for people to be part of a “green recovery”.
Thanks to funding from Sainsbury’s, Players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Lloyds Bank, Joules, Bank of Scotland and Sofology, some 560,000 saplings have been snapped up for autumn delivery and there’s just over a month before the deadline to apply.
Senior project lead Vicki Baddeley says: “Lockdown has proved to us the value people put on green spaces. Having somewhere to escape to, to clear their heads and get fresh air has never been so important. They’ve found comfort and strength from daily walks rediscovering the joys of trees, woods and the wildlife within them.
“Our free trees for schools and community groups give us the opportunity to create more of these spaces and address the climate and nature crises at grass roots level. We’ve heard a lot about economic recovery as a result of the coronavirus but you can’t make the economy more resilient without making the environment resilient too.
“it’s fantastic that so many saplings have been snapped up for the approaching planting season; saplings that will provide plenty of benefits for wildlife and for people whether that be locking up carbon, improved soil or water, new habitat, a food source, an outdoor classroom or a community space to benefit our wellbeing.”
Since the initiative started in 2010, more than 10 million trees have been sent across the UK to schools and community groups keen to improve their local area.
Packs contain a mix of UK sourced and grown native broadleaf species such as hazel, rowan, hawthorn, common oak, silver birch, wild cherry, elder, dogwood and holly.
There are packs that will provide year-long colour, a wild harvest or a haven for wildlife, one that contains hardy species which tolerate exposed sites and dry up areas where water collects easily and a working wood mix which could provide fuel for wood burners or willow for weaving.
They come in various sizes starting at packs of 15, which are perfect for residential areas with limited communal space. If no shared space is available, applications to split between neighbouring front gardens to green up a street are considered.
Other pack sizes include 30 saplings, which will create an eight-metre hedgerow or a tennis court-sized copse, 105 which is enough to cover an area as big as four tennis courts, or 420 to cover an area the size of a football pitch.
To order your free trees, visit here before 14 August.