Nearly three quarters of a million trees are winging their way across the UK as part of the Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fightback.

Almost 4,000 schools and community groups will be taking delivery of the free saplings over the next two weeks, and while each group has its own reasons for planting, every tree will count towards the Trust’s campaign to help tackle climate change.

The Big Climate Fightback aims to get more than a million people to pledge to plant a tree on the run up to a mass day of planting across the UK on November 30. Everyone that applied for a tree pack will be added to the list of pledges.

John Tucker, director of woodland outreach at the Woodland Trust said:

“Tree planting has never been higher on the social and political agenda. From school children to MPs, people are waking up to the message that trees are a big part of the solution to tackling climate change. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, as well as filtering out other harmful pollutants from the air that we all breathe. Quite simply we need more of them.

“The government has committed to act on the Committee on Climate Change recommendations and legislate for net zero emissions by 2050. To do this we need to plant 50 million trees each year. The Woodland Trust is pleased to be sending out this huge number of trees to schools and community groups that are eager to get planting and be part of the Big Climate Fightback.

“There are many reasons why schools and community groups choose to plant trees. Some of the wonderful projects this season include creating outdoor classrooms where pupils can spend time in a tranquil, outdoor environment which will improve their education as well as their mental health and wellbeing. Others are growing natural screens and borders from roads to help to reduce pollution and improve air quality. We’re delighted to be helping them to create greener places to live.”

The trees will be sent far and wide:

  • England: 583,875 trees to 3,310 organisations
  • Scotland:  69,855 trees to 339 organisations
  • Wales: 44,145 trees to 212 organisations
  • Northern Ireland: 20,190 trees to 87 organisations
  • UK Total: 718,065 trees to 3,948 organisations.

The packs are generously funded by lead partners Sainsbury’s, players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Yorkshire Tea and Selfridges. In addition, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has supported the Trust to provide 100,000 trees a year to state funded primary schools in England over four years. Defra also funds four regional project officers to support schools to assist them with tree pack applications, helping to increase the spread of green space improvement.

Since the initiative started in 2010, 9.6 million trees have been sent to schools and community groups keen to improve their local area.

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 our saplings arrive with protection to give them the best chance of survival, and each pack comes with full instructions on planting and aftercare. We also direct all applicants to our Defra funded resource Tree Tools for Schools which has everything they need to plan, plant and care for their tree pack.

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.

The Trust has two deliveries each year - one in March and the other in November - to coincide with tree planting season over the winter months. Applications for the next delivery in March 2020 are now being accepted, via the free trees application form, along with details about the different packs on offer.

Tree packs are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and once they’re gone, they’re gone. 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

To join the Big Climate Fightback and to pledge to plant a tree visit: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/bigclimatefightback

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

For media queries only please contact Kevin Stanley in the Woodland Trust press office on 01476 581121 or email kevinstanley@woodlandtrust.org.uk

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.

The Trust has three key aims:

i) protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable

ii) restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life

iii) plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 28,700 hectares. Access to its woods is free.

About Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury's has supported the Woodland Trust since 2004 with the launch of free range Woodland eggs. Since then, donations through product sales have expanded to chicken, turkey, apples and honey.

The partnership has helped the Woodland Trust to plant 3.6 million trees, including establishing a special Sainsbury’s Wood at The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood in Leicestershire.

The partnership has also enabled the Woodland Trust to provide support and advice to Sainsbury’s on tree planting and maintenance to deliver to their farmers across the UK.

Sainsbury’s has supported many projects at the Woodland Trust and in 2019 to celebrate Sainsbury’s 150th birthday and 15 years of our partnership, we will be working together to plant a tree for every Sainsbury’s colleague and create 150 woods across the UK.

About People’s Postcode Lottery

People’s Postcode Lottery manages multiple society lotteries promoted by different charities and good causes. People play with their chosen postcodes for a chance to win cash prizes. A minimum of 32% from each subscription goes directly to charities and good causes across Great Britain and internationally - players have raised £382 million so far. For details of the charities and good causes which are promoting and benefiting from the lottery draws, please visit https://www.postcodelottery.co.uk/good-causes/draw-calendar

It costs £10 a month to play and winning postcodes are announced every day. The maximum amount a single ticket can win is 10% of the draw proceeds, subject to a maximum of £400,000. For details, please visit www.postcodelottery.co.uk/prizes

New players can sign up to pay using direct debit by calling 0808 10 9 8 7 6 5. New players who sign up online at www.postcodelottery.co.uk can pay using direct debit, debit card or PayPal. 

Postcode Lottery Limited is regulated by the Gambling Commission under licence numbers: 000-000829-N-102511 and 000-000829-R-102513. Registered office: Titchfield House, 69/85 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4RR

Follow @PostcodePress

About Yorkshire Tea

Yorkshire Tea has pledged to plant a million trees over five years – 500,000 of them through the Woodland Trust. They’ve teamed up with the Woodland Trust to inspire schools and families to get involved and learn about caring for the planet together. The project is called Yorkshire Tree and people can learn all about it at www.yorkshiretea.co.uk/yorkshire-tree

About Selfridges

Selfridges has supported the Woodland Trust since 2017. In 2018 it funded tree planting at Smithills Estate near Bolton. These trees will form part of the Northern Forest, a mass tree planting project set to transform the landscape of northern England. This year Selfridges has funded the Woodland Trust’s free trees for schools and communities, allowing 80,000 trees to be planted across the UK. The Woodland Trust and Selfridges are already working on ambitious plans for 2020 as the biggest year to date for their partnership.