To meet the increasing demand for trees, nurseries must adapt, offering genetically diverse saplings that are resilient to climate challenges. That's where the Growing Diversity initiative comes in.

A joint initiative between the Woodland Trust and Fellowship of the Trees and backed by the Forestry Commission, Growing Diversity combines expertise and resources to overcome barriers in the forestry sector. Our aim is to address barriers in the forestry sector to grow broadleaf species that have ecological value within the English landscape.

The journey to a greener England is a collective one. Together, we're advocating through the initiative to elevate the quality, volume, and diversity of tree planting stock.

Local, community tree nurseries will play a pivotal role in sourcing and growing native tree seeds, laying the groundwork for the UK's greener future.

Growing Diversity: what we're doing

Our strategy is comprehensive, ensuring a sustainable and diverse tree supply for the UK's future.

Key actions

  1. Boost domestic tree supply: aim to diversify and expand the tree supply in England, aligning with the government's ambition to triple tree planting by 2025.
  2. Strengthen nurseries: equip nurseries of all sizes with the tools and knowledge they need to effectively meet the demands outlined in the England Trees Action Plan.
  3. Embrace innovation: advocate for the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies and best practices to ensure high-quality and diverse tree stocks at value for money.
  4. Build resilience: ensure tree species are resilient to challenges like climate change, pests, and diseases.
  5. Focused seed sourcing: concentrate on sourcing bio-secure seeds and trees from specific native seed zones and address the current market shortcomings.
  6. Empower community tree nurseries: bolster their capabilities in administration, skills, operations, marketing, and systems to meet forestry sector needs.
  7. Address seed collection gaps: identify and act on regions where there's minimal seed collection, especially for hard-to-source native species.
  8. Overcome barriers: develop strategies to address barriers in tree planting, offering training and resources on topics like seed collection, propagation, and biosecurity.
  9. Foster innovation and collaboration: motivate community tree nurseries to adopt new methods, share expertise and gain access to specialised advice.
  10. Promote native species: prioritise hard-to-source native broadleaf species for tree planting projects.
  11. Engage the community: facilitate diverse tree planting initiatives, emphasising natural regeneration, traditional methods and hands-on community involvement.

A shared vision for the future

The journey to a greener UK is a collective effort. While the Growing Diversity Initiative is a pivotal step in the right direction, the success of our vision relies on awareness, understanding, and the shared commitment of every individual and organisation. As we venture ahead, it's not just about planting trees—it's about planting hope, legacy, and a promise for generations to come.

About Fellowship of the Trees

Fellowship of the Trees unites dedicated people with a passion for nature. Their mission is to connect communities to take action to re-wild, regenerate, and restore land and culture.

They facilitate the Community Tree Nursery Collaborative (CTNC) alongside a dedicated group of community tree nurseries. The CTNC promotes peer learning, shares effective methods, tackles issues, and offers assistance to help tree nurseries succeed. This support includes regular webinars, networking events and on-site visits.