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Northern Ireland to receive 24,000 trees as part of Woodland Trust charity drive

Schools, community groups and youth groups across the country are invited to don welly boots and enhance local landscapes thanks to free trees from the Woodland Trust. Photo: Allan Baxter.

People right across the country – from heritage groups to hurling clubs, and prep schools to colleges – are enhancing local grounds this November through the simple act of tree planting. The Woodland Trust is offering schools, youth groups and community groups the gift of free trees.

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29 November 2017 | 0

Over half a million free trees are currently winging their way to schools and community groups across the UK thanks to the Woodland Trust, of which 24,000 are set to take root in Norther Ireland.

It’s the charity’s biggest-ever distribution of free trees and a sign of the public’s growing desire to plant.

Altogether the 561,000 saplings – equivalent to approximately 350 hectares – will make their way to heritage groups, hurling clubs, prep schools, and colleges; who are preparing to enhance their local grounds this November.

L-R: Patrick, Eden and Isaac make their mark at Brackfield Wood, near Derry/Londonderry. Photo: Michael Cooper

L-R: Patrick, Eden and Isaac make their mark at Brackfield Wood, near Derry/Londonderry. Photo: Michael Cooper

Collective efforts are helping to green local landscapes and tackle Northern Ireland’s lack of woodland cover. The country has a mere 8% woodland cover, compared to the European average of 46%.

Schools, youth groups, and community groups are now invited to apply for free trees for planting next March.

The packs come in three sizes, ranging from 30 native saplings for a small copse or short hedgerow to 420 trees – enough to cover an acre of land. Applicants will be able to choose from species that will attract wildlife, give year-round colour, or provide a bountiful wild harvest.

The Woodland Trust’s Director of Woodland Outreach, John Tucker, said: “The popularity of our free tree pack scheme is testament to how much the public love trees. We’ve never given out so many in such a short space of time.

“Schools and community groups obviously hold trees in great affection, valuing them for the many benefits they bring. People tell us they’re planting to encourage wildlife, to combat climate change, prevent flooding and improve health and wellbeing.

“Trees and woods are under threat like never before, from pests, disease and development. We need more trees, and we’re thrilled our scheme is going from strength to strength.”

The trees are funded by Sainsbury’s, IKEA Family, and Yorkshire Tea.

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