This week 3,500 tree packs will be delivered throughout the UK as part of the Woodland Trust’s FREE TREES scheme, sponsored by Sainsbury’s, IKEA, Yorkshire Tea and People’s Postcode Lottery.
Some groups have chosen to plant their trees to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, chiming with the charity’s own ambitions to create four large Centenary woods for the public’s use by 2018 – 100 years since the end of the conflict.
Schools receiving tree packs this week include: Medina House School; Gurnard Primary School; Oakfield Primary School; Sandown Bay Academy; The Island Free School and Niton Primary School.
While the groups’ reasons for planting the packs of free trees are individual, the benefits to the island will be lasting. Trees capture carbon, create homes for wildlife, provide oxygen, improve air quality and can provide sustainable fuel. And yet the UK as a whole lags way behind the rest of Europe when it comes to tree numbers.
The Isle of Wight fairs better than most of the UK, with 13.2 % tree cover – the UK average 13% and the European average 44%.
John Tucker, the Woodland Trust’s Woodland Creation Director, said:
“It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm for the Woodland Trust’s free tree packs. It takes just 10 years for trees to grow well above head-height, so communities could be enjoying the rewards sooner than you’d think, as well as creating a lasting, living legacy for future generations.
“Currently the UK has significantly less woodland cover than the rest of Europe. Communities’ efforts to plant in their own localities to benefit the people who live there is admirable and helps us work toward our target of doubling native woodland cover.”
And it’s not too late to get involved. Inspired? Free tree packs will be available this autumn too. Interested schools and community groups can find out more by visiting www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees or emailing [email protected]
Registration for autumn tree packs closes on 3rd September 2015.