Over 700,000 free trees available for communities to fight climate change

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Nearly three quarter of a million trees are winging their way across the UK as part of the Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fightback.

In Northern Ireland almost 100 schools and community groups will be taking delivery of the free saplings over the next two weeks, and while each group has its own reasons for planting, every tree will count towards the Trust’s campaign to help tackle climate change.

The Big Climate Fightback aims to get more than a million people to pledge to plant a tree on the run up to a mass day of planting across the UK on November 30. Everyone that applied for a tree pack will be added to the list of pledges.

John Tucker, Director of Woodland Outreach, at the Woodland Trust said:“Tree planting has never been higher on the social and political agenda. From school children to MPs, people are waking up to the message that trees are a big part of the solution to tackling climate change. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, as well as filtering out other harmful pollutants from the air that we all breathe. Quite simply we need more of them.

“The government has committed to act on the Committee on Climate Change recommendations and legislate for net zero emissions by 2050. To do this we need to plant 50 million trees each year. The Woodland Trust is pleased to be sending out this huge number of trees to schools and community groups that are eager to get planting and be part of the Big Climate Fightback.

“There are many reasons why schools and community groups choose to plant trees. Some of the wonderful projects this season include creating outdoor classrooms where pupils can spend time in a tranquil, outdoor, environment which will improve their education as well as their mental health and wellbeing.

Others are growing natural screens and borders from roads to help to reduce pollution and improve air quality. We’re delighted to be helping them to create greener places to live.”

The trees will be sent far and wide:

Northern Ireland: 20,190 trees to 87 organisations

England: 583,875 trees to 3,310 organisations

Scotland: 69,855 trees to 339 organisations

Wales: 44,145 trees to 212 organisations

UK Total: 718,065 trees to 3,948 organisations.

The packs are generously funded by lead partners Sainsbury’s, players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Yorkshire Tea and Selfridges. Additional funding from DEFRA means they can also give away a further 100,000 trees a year until 2020 to eligible schools helping to increase the spread of green space improvement.

Since the initiative started in 2010, 5.8 million trees have been sent to schools and community groups keen to improve their local area.

Every tree has been UK sourced and grown as part of the Trust’s quality assurance scheme to guarantee the provenance of native trees. The scheme guarantees that trees from a number of nurseries marked with the UKSG badge are raised from seeds sourced only from the UK and grown in the UK for their entire lifespan.

To join the Big Climate Fightback and to pledge to plant a tree visit: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/bigclimatefightback