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Free trees available for schools and community groups from Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust is giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and community groups this year as part of a nationwide campaign.

The trust wants to make sure everybody in the UK has the chance to plant a tree so they are delivering trees in March and November of this year.

The Cambridge Independent is campaigning for more trees to be planted (26500728)
The Cambridge Independent is campaigning for more trees to be planted (26500728)

It is currently taking applications for trees to be delivered in November 2020 as part of its ongoing Big Climate Fightback.

The Cambridge Independent is highlighting the opportunity as part of our Plant a Tree Campaign, through which we aim to get 10,000 planted in Cambridgeshire.

All schools and communities need to provide is the six-digit grid reference for the land they wish to plant using a grid reference finder on the Woodland Trust’s website – and, of course, they need permission from the legal landowner.

Last November, nearly three quarters of a million trees were sent out across the UK by the trust.

This included 65,910 trees sent out to 355 organisations in the East of England, including 8,625 to 41 organisations in Cambridgeshire.

Some 420 saplings were sent to Isleham Parish Council, and a further 420 saplings went to Friends of Isleham Nature Reserve.

Both groups planted the saplings along an ancient drove way to create a beautiful area for people and wildlife.

Simply visit woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees/ for more information and to apply.

There are numerous types of free tree packs available:

Hedge: Help wildlife stay on the move by making a natural screen or connect existing woodland. Schools and communities will get a variety of each species for eight metres of full, easy-to-manage hedging. For a longer length, the trust’s Wild Harvest, Year Round Colour, Wildlife, and Wild Wood packs also make great hedgerows and are available with 105 or 420 saplings. Each contains a pack of 30 trees with species of dog rose, hawthorn, hazel, crab apple and dogwood to cover an area of land with six to eight metres of double-row hedging.

Copse: If a hedge is not the right pack then a mini-forest school classroom, or a peaceful spot that’s an oasis for birds, is included in the Copse pack. It consists of 30 trees including silver birch, rowan and wild cherry and is ideal for land the size of a tennis court.

Wild harvest: This pack allows schools and communities to produce an array of fruits and nuts to produce jams, jellies, wines and more. Tree count is 105 or 420, species include hazel, blackthorn, crab apple, dog rose, elder, rowan. The pack covers the size of land for 105 saplings: four tennis courts or 20-25 metres double-row hedge. Or alternatively 420 sapling which will fill one football pitch or 85-100 metres double-row hedge.

Year-round colour: This pack provides beautiful blossoms, bright berries and stunning autumn displays. It includes 105 or 420 trees and species include hawthorn, dogwood, wild cherry, silver birch, rowan and hazel.

Working wood: This will allow the fuelling of a log burner in seven to 10 years, or provide the opportunity to learn to carve or weave willow. Includes 105 or 420 trees depending on available space.

Wild wood: These hardy native species can tolerate exposed sites and help dry up wet areas. The pack features 105 or 420 trees and includes hazel, crab apple, downy birch, hawthorn, holly and goat willow.

Wildlife: This allows the establishment of food and shelter for wildlife to create a living legacy for future generations. Total number of trees is 105 or 420 and include hawthorn, rowan, blackthorn, silver birch, hazel, common oak.

Urban trees: This pack is easy to manage, and designed for residential areas with limited communal space. It includes 15 trees – a mix of three native species chosen to thrive in urban environments, crab apple, rowan, hazel.

A song thrush feeding on rowan berries (26500971)
A song thrush feeding on rowan berries (26500971)

Get help and advice

Schools can also get their hands on the right tree tools from the Woodland Trust.

Its fantastic online resource has everything required to plan, plant and care for the tree packs. The activities include a planning tool, planting advice and interactive quizzes, and they’re useful for community groups as well as schools.

When a school plants its tree pack, it will earn two points on the trust’s Green Tree Schools Award.

In addition, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has supported the trust to provide 100,000 trees a year to state-funded primary schools in England over four years.

The Cambridge Independent Plant a Tree Campaign logo (26500816)
The Cambridge Independent Plant a Tree Campaign logo (26500816)

The Cambridge Independent Plant a Tree Campaign

Cambridgeshire is one of the least wooded counties in the country.

We are campaigning for 10,000 trees to be planted in Cambridgeshire this year to help combat climate change, help wildlife and improve the natural scenery.

We are highlighting opportunities, and will be offering advice and guidance on what native species to plant and where.

Are you planting a tree? Let us know using one of the following methods:

  • Email newsdesk@iliffemedia.co.uk and put Plant a Tree Campaign in the subject line.
  • Call our news team on 01223 320322
  • Post on the Cambridge Independent Facebook page
  • Tweet @CambridgeIndy and include the hashtag #PlantATreeCampaign.

If you are a school, community group or business, we’ll be pleased to take pictures.

Or you could send us your own photographs.

Remember to tell us how many trees you are planting, and where, so we can add them to our tally!

Read more

The Cambridge Independent’s Plant a Tree Campaign: Help us get 10,000 trees planted across Cambridgeshire

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