Help make Wigan greener by planting trees

Community groups and schools across Wigan are being urged to make the borough even greener by planting free trees.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 4:55 am

Whether planting for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, to help tackle climate change or to improve local areas, the Woodland Trust’s popular free tree pack scheme is now open for applications.

Schools and community groups able now to apply for the first million trees, and into 2022 more than three million trees will be available via free tree packs.

Packs are sent out twice a year and uptake was high across the North West in spring, with 58,950 trees despatched for planting. These included 11,235 to 104 schools and community groups in Greater Manchester.

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Millions of trees have already been planted through the scheme. Photo by: Ben Lee/WTML

The Woodland Trust is a leading delivery partner of the Queen’s Green Canopy and is offering free trees to help many thousands of schools and communities mark the Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis and the first million trees will be despatched in November, during the planting season.

The trust wants to hear from all types of community groups. People do not have to be part of a formal long-standing group, they just need to have a group name decided before they apply.

The packs, all funded by corporate partners, are available in a range of themes - year-long colour, a wild harvest or a haven for wildlife. Another contains hardy species which tolerate exposed sites and dry areas or where water collects easily. There is even a working wood mix which could provide wood fuel or willow for weaving.

The packs come in a range of sizes, from 15 trees, which are perfect for urban areas and can be split between neighbours, up to 420 trees to cover an area the size of a football pitch.

People are asked to plant the trees on land accessible to the public where possble, with the land owner’s permission, and commit to caring for those trees as they establish and grow.

Since 2004 the scheme has helped thousands of groups plant millions of trees.

Senior project lead for the Woodland Trust, Vicki Baddeley, said: “We’re always amazed by the appetite schools and communities have for tree planting. It is such a wonderful thing to do. It is a positive, life-affirming and life-changing action that people can take to mark momentous occasions like the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, to help tackle the climate and nature crises, or to make their local areas a bit greener. We find that once people have planted one tree, they usually want to do more.

“All the trees planted have a host of different benefits working hard to lock up carbon, improve soils and water, reduce the flow of flooding, provide shade and shelter, create havens for wildlife and a places to enjoy.”

Packs contain a mix of UK-sourced and grown native broadleaf species such as hazel, rowan, hawthorn, common oak, silver birch, wild cherry, elder, dogwood and holly.

To order free trees, visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees before August 25 and they will be delivered in November.

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