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Grab a tree for free as part of 10th anniversary celebrations

A scheme that has helped to plant almost 75,000 trees in North West Leicestershire is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

North West Leicestershire District Council works in partnership with The National Forest and HK Wentworth Ltd to make thousands of free trees available to all residents and community groups in the district every year.

To mark the special anniversary NWLDC has been collecting pictures of free trees that have been planted by residents from all corners of the district over the last 10 years. A display of these can be seen at the council offices reception in Coalville.

The Free Tree Scheme has been running annually since 2008 and has given out 74,042 trees over that time. More than 16,000 of those were given to residents and groups last year alone.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the scheme a special commemorative Wild Service Tree is also available to order for residents living within the National Forest only, in addition to  four other varieties.

Alan Edwards was the recipient of a free rowan tree in 2013. He said: “It was only 12 inches tall when it went into the ground but now it is nearly seven foot tall!  It enjoys a lovely sunny spot at the top of our front garden and when it is fully grown, it will be visible the full length of our street. This year it has developed berries so I assume that it is now a mature tree.” 

Five different types of trees are available this year: 

  • Rowan

  • Crab Apple

  • Bird Cherry

  • Alder Buckthorn

  • Wild Service (for those living in the National Forest)

The trees are approximately 60cm – 90cm (two to three feet high) when they are collected and come with a guide on how to look after them properly.   

Community groups such as environmental groups, allotment societies and wildlife groups can access a larger number of trees.

Running at the same time is the council’s Hedge Fund where landowners, local groups and local schools can plant new hedges. The offer includes up to 30 metres of a mix of hawthorn and hazel hedging.

Applications for free trees opened on Monday 1 October and will close on Friday 26 October.

Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services at North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “I’m incredibly proud of this scheme and that so many residents have got involved over the last 10 years and planted new young trees.

“Each year our already beautiful district gets greener thanks to this scheme and the support it receives from people in the community.

“It’s incredibly important we look after the National Forest and our district as a whole, and getting everyone involved in planting trees is a great way of doing this.”

People can find more information and submit their applications online at www.nwleics.gov.uk/freetreescheme2018 

Residents that apply for a free tree must be available for collect it on Sunday 19 November.

Published: Tue 9 October, 2018

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