A mum from Prestatyn can’t wait to embrace nature and encourage new wildlife into her garden after taking part in a tree giveaway scheme.

Leanne Parry, who lives with her five-year-old son Wren, and dogs Jeffrey and Gordon, planted a tree sapling at home thanks to the Welsh Government’s My Tree, Our Forest initiative, which sees a tree offered to every household in Wales, free of charge.

Leanne first heard about the scheme through a friend looking for some new trees for her land, and was glad to find out that anyone in Wales can get involved. The family headed to their local distribution hub, Wepre Park, which is one of over 50 across Wales, to collect their tree.

She said: “At first, I wasn’t too sure if the trees available would be suitable for my house and garden - a huge tree wouldn’t work for me. The volunteers at the hub were amazing, after explaining my situation they recommended the dog rose or hazel, and we decided on the dog rose as I thought the flowers would be a nice addition to the garden.

“My five-year-old helps me in the garden too, he has looked after his own bulbs, and we planted a tree when we first moved in that has since outgrown him. Now he can experience the same process with the dog rose, seeing it grow flowers and then the rosehips.”

While hubs are currently shut until mid-February, Leanne is encouraging family and friends to take advantage of the other ways to be involved in the scheme; anyone in Wales can opt to have a tree planted on their behalf, or order a tree to plant at home.

Leanne continued: “I think it’s absolutely fantastic. I’m really glad the initiative is helping people play a role in creating homes for native wildlife and helping to tackle climate change.”

Launched by the Welsh Government in partnership with Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales, the My Tree, Our Forest initiative aims to give away 300,000 trees. Delivering the project, Coed Cadw has partnered with Welsh landowners who will provide space to plant trees on their land on behalf of those who opt to have a tree planted in their name. There are at least 55,000 trees available to be planted on behalf of Welsh households, with these native, broadleaf trees all contributing to the creation of a National Forest for Wales.

One of Leanne’s motivations for being involved in the scheme was to help create more space for nature and wildlife. She said: “A big thing for me is encouraging nature into the garden. We have already left part of the lawn unmown and added a DIY pond which has seen the eco-system in the garden flourish. I’m hoping our new dog rose will be able to attract and sustain more insects and birds.

Natalie Buttriss, director of Coed Cadw said: “For anyone like Leanne who wants to do their bit to tackle climate change and support wildlife this new year, opting to have a tree planted on your behalf through My Tree, Our Forest is an easy way to do so. Filling in the online form takes less than one minute. We’ve got ten native species that we can plant on your behalf, or you can order a free tree online to plant at home.”

To have a tree planted on your behalf - or have one posted to you - please visit the website and fill in the corresponding form: woodlandtrust.org.uk/wales-giveaway

Notes to editors

For more information please contact the Woodland Trust press office or Jane Cook on hello@talktojanepr.co.uk.

The first 5,000 trees were given away in March 2022 as part of a pilot before the scheme was rolled out fully across Wales last autumn.

Hubs were open across Wales from 19 November to 18 December 2022. Hubs will reopen in 2023 following a Christmas break. Tree availability and hub opening times will be regularly updated on the Coed Cadw | Woodland Trust Wales and Welsh Government social media channels. Trees will be given out on a first come, first served basis and people should check availability before travelling to collect.

Volunteers will advise on the best tree for households to collect but the species available will include: hazel, rowan, hawthorn, silver birch, crab apple, sessile oak, dogwood, dog rose, field maple and elder.

About Coed Cadw, The Woodland Trust in Wales

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:

  • protect ancient woodland, which is rare, unique and irreplaceable.
  • restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life.
  • 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 approximately 29,000 hectares. These include over 100 sites in Wales, with a total area of 2,897 hectares (7,155 acres). Access to its woods is free, so everyone can benefit from woods and trees.

The Trust’s Welsh language name, “Coed Cadw”, is an old Welsh term, used in mediaeval laws to describe protected or preserved woodland.