Huge success following Free Tree Scheme 2023

Published: Mon 4 December, 2023

Collage containing photographs at SMB College Group's Stephenson Campus for one of the locations of the Free Tree Scheme 2023.

North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) gave away 32,800 trees as part of its annual Free Tree Scheme.

This monumental figure is the highest it has been since the scheme first launched in 2009.

The trees were given away in Coalville, Ashby and Castle Donington on Sunday 19 November. Residents and community groups were able to apply for a free tree between Monday 9 October to Friday 27 October.

Running alongside this, the council’s Hedge Fund provided up to 30 metres of free hedging for residents. The scheme is sponsored by NWLDC and National Forest Company and was its 14th consecutive year running.

The scheme’s success was echoed by the huge amount of praise given from residents when they collected their trees:

One resident said: “I love this idea! I have an allotment and I cannot wait to get them growing to help the environment but also eat the nuts!”

Another comment said: “This is a fantastic scheme and I feel lucky to have the opportunity”.

Councillor Michael Wyatt, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Climate Change at NWLDC, said: “Our free tree scheme has continued to be very popular with residents and we are proud to have provided so many trees for our residents”.

“Surpassing figures from previous years is a huge achievement for everyone in the North West Leicestershire district, which shows we are working to be greener and more sustainable.

“Thank you to everyone that applied and to the National Forest for supporting such a great scheme.”

Gill Forrester, Community and Wellbeing Manager, National Forest Company said: “We are delighted to once again support North West Leicestershire District Council with its annual Free Tree Scheme.

“Trees really are transformational in the landscape, for biodiversity and for our wellbeing. By encouraging more people to plant suitable native trees, as hedges or individual trees within their gardens, we are helping to grow a greener, healthier and more sustainable future for everyone to enjoy.”