A Royal Navy rehab specialist from Llanelli is encouraging others to take part in an online tree planting scheme which takes less than 60 seconds to help tackle the effects of climate change.

Leah Ravuoco signed up to have a tree planted on her behalf in the National Forest for Wales as part of the Welsh Government’s My Tree, Our Forest initiative, which offers a free tree to every household in Wales.

The tree giveaway scheme saw over 50 hubs distributing trees for collection across Wales at the end of 2022 for people to plant in their gardens.

After learning about the scheme on social media, Leah initially believed she couldn’t take part as she does not have a garden of her own. Additionally, because of the demanding nature of her work and amount of travel involved, she is rarely home, and felt she would not be able to take care of it properly.

However, Leah was pleased to find out that she could still take part in the scheme thanks to the ‘Plant a tree for me’ option; filling in a simple form and opting to have a tree planted on her behalf in Wales.

Leah said: “My Tree, Our Forest is a great campaign, because it can sometimes feel a bit hopeless when you want to do something for the environment, but don’t necessarily have the time or resources to do your bit. With this initiative, there’s no reason not to get involved.

“Filling in the online form was a really straightforward process - it took less than a minute to plant a tree in my name! This campaign means that everyone in Wales can play a part at the click of a button – why wouldn’t you take part?”

Leah first heard about the initiative through a friend who shared a post on social media and has now vowed to spread awareness by sharing with friends and family.

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 to help grow a National Forest for Wales and tackle the dual nature and climate crisis. There are ten different species of native, broadleaf trees available through the scheme, including silver birch, crab apple, dog rose and sessile oak.

Collection hubs will reopen in February 2023 for several weeks, giving those who weren’t able to collect their tree last year another chance to get involved and plant a tree at home. For those unable to attend a hub to collect a tree, one can be ordered online and delivered to their door. Alternatively, like Leah, a tree can be claimed online and planted on their behalf.

Natalie Buttriss, director of Coed Cadw, said: “We want everyone in Wales to be able to take part in this initiative, whatever their circumstance - whether that’s planting at home or opting to have a tree planted elsewhere, just like Leah. The trees that are claimed through the ‘Plant a tree for me’ route will be planted by volunteers on land donated by dedicated landowners, who will care for them on behalf of people across Wales.”

To have a tree planted on your behalf please visit the website and fill in the online form: woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/wales-tree-giveaway/plant-a-tree-for-me-form/

Notes to editors

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

About My Tree, Our Forest

Launched by the Welsh Government in partnership with Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales, 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.

Collection hubs will reopen in mid-February 2023. 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:

  1. protect ancient woodland, which is rare, unique and irreplaceable.
  2. restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life.
  3. 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.