A popular scheme which offers free trees to landowners and farmers in a bid to encourage more tree planting across Leicestershire is now open for applications again.
Leicestershire County Council has once again teamed up with the Woodland Trust to offer the free tree and hedgerow packs, which are designed to help renew and restore existing woodland and vegetation, as well as replacing trees which have been affected by diseases such as ash dieback.
Each tree pack includes 45 native trees – 15 each of oak, crab apple and hazel. The hedgerow packs are made up of 250 hedgerow shrubs, including a mix of hawthorn, hazel, blackthorn, field maple, dog rose as well as oaks to plant at regular intervals along the hedgerow.
For larger areas of land, the scheme will also help advise and support the creation of new areas of woodland planting over half a hectare through the MOREwoods scheme.
The tree packs are being made available to anyone who lives in Leicestershire with suitable areas of land to plant – including community groups, parish councils and schools, as well as landowners and farmers. Eligible applicants are now being invited to register for their free tree and hedgerow packs, in a bid to help the county council plant 700,000 trees – one for every person in Leicestershire.
Last year, the county council gave away just over 30,000 trees from this and other similar schemes – and is hoping to top 50,000 trees this year.
Leicestershire is one of the least wooded areas of the country, with around six per cent woodland – well below the national average of 10 per cent.
Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for the environment and the green agenda, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Woodland Trust again this year, to provide free trees and hedgerows to farmers and landowners across Leicestershire.
“As part of our commitment to becoming a net-zero county by 2045, trees have an important role to play in keeping our air clean, helping to prevent flooding and providing valuable habitats for local wildlife.
“Last year, we gave away 30,000 trees through this and the other schemes we offer – and we are hoping that this year, we can go even further by giving away 50,000 trees.”
Anyone who would like to apply for a free tree or hedgerow pack can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0330 333 5303, quoting ‘Leicestershire County Council trees’.
Successful applicants will be able to collect their trees from the county council tree nursery at Beaumanor Hall in Woodhouse in November 2022 or February 2023.
For more information on trees and woodlands, including how to spot ash dieback, visit the county council’s trees website.