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Magic million – and over 61,000 in Wales!

Woodland Trust hits free tree milestone, and 61,755 of these trees will be planted by 356 organisations throughout Wales this planting season.

The Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) will give away one million trees to schools and communities for the first time in a single season, with the millionth tree hitting the ground in the first two weeks of March.

The Trust says it highlights a growing desire amongst the public to plant trees and to care for the environment.

Beccy Speight, Chief Executive of the Woodland Trust said: “We’ve been close to hitting one million free trees for schools and community groups for several years, but this is the first time we’ve ever sent out that magic number in a single season. It’s a real milestone for the Trust and we’re proud to have achieved such a momentous task.

“There’s a real passion for planting across the UK. People want to feel they are making a difference. Trees resonate on so many levels – they make where we live more beautiful, they help clean our air, improve our soils, clean and hold back water, provide a home for wildlife and help us address the causes and impacts of climate change.

“Improving mental health and well-being is high on the social agenda and urban trees in particular can help people to feel the benefits of being outdoors. Feedback that we’ve received from recipients of free trees is that improved well-being was one of their top reasons to apply. They also reported a sense of real achievement and fulfilment when planting.

“Sending out one million trees has been a huge task but it’s one that our team and the tree nursery fully embraced and were delighted to achieve. Our network of woodland creation champion volunteers play a vital role in the delivery of projects such as this; extending our reach by engaging with communities, inspiring and educating them on how to plant and tend to trees to ensure they survive. We’re ready to take on the challenge of sending out even more free trees next season, helping even more people make a change for the better where they live.”

Free packs being dispatched

Free tree packs are currently being sent to schools and/or community groups in every county in Wales. The number going to each is:
Anglesey 5
Blaenau Gwent 3
Bridgend 4
Caerphilly 8
Cardiff 12
Carmarthenshire 3
Ceredigion 6
Conwy 3
Denbighshire 8
Flintshire 5
Gwynedd 10
Merthyr Tydfil 5
Monmouthshire 15
Neath Port Talbot 2
Newport 3
Pembrokeshire 9
Powys 4
Rhondda Cynon Taff 2
Swansea 2
Torfaen 3
Vale of Glamorgan 2
Wrexham 2

The above list includes only tree packs being sent out for delivery this March. If packs sent out earlier this planting season are included, that is, this autumn and winter, then 61,755 trees are being sent to 356 organisations Wales.

The packs are generously funded by lead partners Sainsbury’s, players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and Yorkshire Tea. Since the initiative started in 2010, 5.8 million trees have been sent to schools and community groups keen to improve their local area.

Tree packs are go! (Photo: WTML)
Tree packs are go! (Photo: WTML)

From Aberystwyth, to Caldicot to Llangefni

One group making use of tree pack is the Aberystwyth Town Council. Cllr Sue Jones Davies, who is organising this, says: “We are a tree conscious town. We don't always please everyone. Sometimes trees have to come down for reasons of safety etc and that can be contentious with the general public but we have a tree planting scheme and wherever and whenever we can we are trying to green as much of the town as possible.”

Another pack is going to the Caldicot Community Garden in Monmouthshire. Kirsty Hutchinson from the group says: “We’ll be planting trees in front of our community garden, running alongside a private road. The hedge will enclose the garden area and provide a more natural screen adding to the security of the garden. I love that it will welcome and encourage wildlife.”

Another pack is going to the 1st Llangefni Guides in Anglesey. Natalie Roberts-West who’s organising this says: “Our intended planting location is the village hall park and garden where the Llangefni guides meet and the guides would like to plant trees in the local community area to say thank you for the community supporting the guides.”

Grown in the UK

Every tree has been UK sourced and grown as part of the Trust’s quality assurance scheme to guarantee the provenance of native trees. The scheme guarantees that trees from a number of nurseries marked with the UKSG badge are raised from seeds sourced only from the UK and grown in the UK for their entire lifespan.

The aim of the scheme is to reduce the risk of importing pests and diseases with planting stock grown outside the UK. All saplings arrive with protection to give them the best chance of survival, and each pack comes with full instructions on planting and after care.

If you would like to apply for free trees in the coming season get your application in soon, as the scheme is once again proving to be extremely popular. Tree packs are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. You can apply for between 15-420 trees depending on the space you have available and your requirements. Packs are: hedge, copse, wild harvest, year round colour, working wood, wildwood, wildlife, and urban.

Apply for your trees at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees