Woodland Trust gave away 500,000 trees in run-up to Christmas

Swindon Advertiser: Children enjoy a discovery day in Stratton Wood, Kingsdown, Swindon. The Woodland Trust gave away 500,000 trees in the run-up to Christmas and now has more for Wiltshire schools and community groups Children enjoy a discovery day in Stratton Wood, Kingsdown, Swindon. The Woodland Trust gave away 500,000 trees in the run-up to Christmas and now has more for Wiltshire schools and community groups

The Woodland Trust is putting over half a million trees up for grabs to be planted at the end of this year.

The charity gave away another 500,000 trees to schools and community groups before Christmas, and is now offering even more trees for planting in the coming autumn.

Schools and community groups can apply now for free trees - in different sizes and themes - to make their schools, neighbourhoods and communities greener, and will receive them in November.

Community groups such as parish councils, sports clubs, Brownies, Scouts and many more can apply for packs of either a small pack (30 trees), medium pack (105 trees), or a large pack (420 trees).

Schools are automatically eligible for free packs of 30 trees, in either a 'hedge' or 'copse' theme, but can apply to be considered for the medium and large packs if they wish.

Schools and communities applying for the medium and large tree packs can choose from six themes – trees ideal for year-round colour, wild harvest, wildlife, wetland, working wood and wild wood.

Beverley Gormley, the trust's tree packs project manager, said: "Planting trees is a simple yet effective way to improve our environment, and with these free tree packs it couldn’t be easier to do.

"It’s also the perfect way to get communities doing something meaningful together for their local area which will bring benefits for years to come. We hope as many people as possible will snap up these tree packs before they run out.”

The UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe, with just 13 per cent of woodland compared to 44 per cent on the continent.

Only a third of this is native woodland, and the Woodland Trust wants to double this by helping people plant trees.

The trust says trees provide habitat and food for wildlife, they produce oxygen, absorb carbon and lower pollution.

When planted in the right places, they can and help reduce flooding by breaking up hard ground with their roots, allowing water to be absorbed into the soil more easily.

They give shade and shelter, and are a source of timber, fuel, fruit and nuts. 

To apply for your free pack, go to www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees. The deadline for applications is September 4.

Tree packs have been paid for by IKEA Family, Biffa Award and Sainsbury’s, and also by WHSmith, Wilkinson and players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

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