The benefits of trees

Hedgerow in field
Simple hedgerows are a huge benefit to wildlife (Photo: WTML)

We believe life is better with trees. Our neighbourhoods feel better places to live and work in when they're green.

Our farmland and countryside can produce high-quality food and support wildlife when trees play a part in the landscape. We all breathe easier when there are beautiful woods in which to relax and unwind.

And yet the UK needs more trees. We are one of the least wooded countries in Europe and trees and woods continue to disappear from our landscapes. This is why we plant trees on our land and support people, organisations and partners to help make trees part of their land.

There are many excellent reasons to plant trees, so deciding which benefits matter most will help you choose the right species and planting plan. What would you like to achieve?

Give wildlife a helping hand

We encourage planting native trees because they are best for wildlife. Species with berries and fruits are brilliant for birds, while insects and pollinators love those with nectar-rich flowers. Trees provide cover for small mammals from predators and give all wildlife shelter from the elements.

Wherever possible, it's best to plant trees in ways that help extend, or join together, existing woods (especially ancient woodland). This expands the habitat of wildlife already present and helps species move in the landscape.

But just a single tree or small copse can still make a difference. Trees in gardens and public spaces are vital 'stepping stones' helping species thrive.

Create beautiful places for people

Whether it's a quiet walk, a refreshing run or a 'jungle' adventure with the family, woods are fantastic places to spend quality time. They make great community spaces all year round and can cost less to manage than open space. It takes just 10 years for trees to grow well above head-height, so you (and your community) could be enjoying the rewards sooner than you'd think, as well as creating a lasting, living legacy for future generations.

Reduce heating costs with firewood

With rising costs for traditional fuels, planting trees for firewood is an increasingly popular activity. It gives you security of supply and around 2-3 hectares should provide enough to heat an average 3 bedroom house. You can coppice for logs on a sustainable rotation system, giving your trees time to re-grow for the future.

Make good use of unproductive land

We believe in keeping high-quality land to produce excellent food grown at home in the UK. Our approach involves finding either the less productive pieces of land (such as awkward field corners or areas unsuitable for crops/livestock) or planting in ways that enhance agricultural activities (such as pollinator banks / natural flood defences or shelterbelts).

Support the environment

We all know trees are good for us. Their leaves improve the air we breathe by trapping particles and releasing oxygen. Their roots help water travel deep into the soil, capturing pollutants and reducing flooding. By planting more we can capture carbon and help species move in response to climate change.

Enhance your business

Creating a beautiful environment in which to do business can boost your bottom line. Whether it's enhancing a venue for tourism, creating a natural space for staff or even bringing shelter to the gallops at a racing stable, there are lots of ways trees can add real value. If you've got land that is expensive to maintain, planting trees can be a cost-effective and attractive alternative.

Grow new game cover

Pheasants, woodcock and wildlife need shrubs and trees for shelter, protection and food. Planting trees can benefit driven and rough shoots, helping you generate income while supporting conservation.

To find out more about how to plant woods for pheasants, download our brochure (PDF, 1.2MB) produced with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. Our advisers are trained in creating woods for game, so get in touch if you're interested in planting to expand, or start, a shoot on your land.

Need help?

Woodland restoration

If you want to plant trees, find out more about the help available to you.

Find out how

Treasure life's special moments

Father and son enjoying the shade of a tree

Dedicate a tree and give a truly original gift that creates a lasting legacy for the future

Dedicate a tree