A major new initiative to plant and care for trees near to where people live is being launched in National Tree Week on Thursday 2 December. The Big Tree Plant offers a range of advice, support and grants which will help civic societies to get involved and improve your area. Large numbers of civic societies, including Hale Civic Society, Birmingham Civic Society and Wetherby Civic Society are already actively planting trees - The Big Tree Plant means this can happen in more places.
The Big Tree Plant is organised by a mix of statutory and voluntary organisations and is a major priority for the Coalition Government. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Forestry Commission; Tree Council; Woodland Trust and community and urban forests are among those leading the initiative. Civic Voice is on the steering group and is championing the need for The Big Tree Plant to benefit local community groups as well as those with a special interest in trees.
Griff Rhys Jones has offered his support to The Big Tree Plant:
"As President of Civic Voice, I welcome The Big Tree Plant. Civic Voice works to make our cities, towns and villages more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive - all of which can be achieved through The Big Tree Plant. We all have a personal responsibility for where we live, and The Big Tree Plant is a great way for people to get together with their neighbours, civic society and local community groups to plant and care for more trees and improve the local environment for everyone. Plant a tree, change the future and the future will thank you for it."
Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman MP, has written to every local authority in the country urging them:
"to help reach and engage local people with this national campaign and ultimately increase the number of trees planted in your local area... . In recent years the number of trees being planted annually across the country has declined, and could decrease further, unless action is taken to reverse this trend. I believe this campaign can help by raising the national profile of trees and the benefits they offer; encouraging people to get involved in local tree planting schemes; and most importantly bringing together and supporting the wide range of people and organisations already involved in tree planting, to create a stronger national voice for this vital work."
The Big Tree Plant website is available here from Thursday (Dec 2) when it goes live. This has more information and details of how to get involved. Don't forget to record all the trees that you plant.
There is a special briefing on The Big Tree Plant here and on the funding scheme to support it here.
Civic Voice's new Big Tree Plant campaign page provides information on tree planting activity by a number of civic societies. You can view it here
The Tree Council is the lead co-ordination body for trees. It provides details of events across the country - submit details of what you are up to here. The Tree Council also provides small grants and there is more information on these here . Free community tree planting packs are also available from the Woodland Trust here