Free tree saplings for county schools and community groups

Woodland Trust chairman Dr Nicola Nicholls with The Queen and The Princess Royal on the Sandringham estate for the Jubilee Wood Project. Picture by Ian Burt

Woodland Trust chairman Dr Nicola Nicholls with The Queen and The Princess Royal on the Sandringham estate for the Jubilee Wood Project. Picture by Ian Burt

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Throughout the Jubilee year, the Woodland Trust is offering free tree saplings to schools and communities across the UK.

Thousands of trees have already been planted across Northamptonshire as part of the scheme, but there is still time to get involved.

A variety of inspiring pack themes are available ranging from year-round colour to wild harvest, wildlife and wood fuel, to suit different planting locations, and in three different sizes.

For the chance to receive a medium (105 trees) or large (420 trees) pack this autumn you need to register online by August 20.

Schools wishing to plant just 60 trees have until October to apply.

Each pack contains a Royal oak sapling grown from acorns collected on Royal estates such as Sandringham and Windsor.

By the end of 2012, the Woodland Trust will have enabled six million trees to be planted throughout the UK.

This large-scale monument to Her Majesty the Queen’s historic year involves communities and landowners planting trees to benefit local people and wildlife for generations to come.

The UK remains one of the least wooded countries in Europe, with just 13 per cent woodland cover compared to an average of 44 per cent.

Thanks to community groups and schoolchildren planting tree packs, 800,000 trees have been contributed this year already.

Through the packs, 14,251 trees have been planted in Northamptonshire.

Graham Blight, head of people engagement at the Woodland Trust, said: “Communities across the UK are not only making an amazing difference now, they are investing in the long-term benefits trees will provide such as shade and shelter and homes for wildlife.

“There is a saying the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now.

“People can take their place in history by helping to transform the UK’s landscape in just a single generation.”

Tree packs have been sponsored by IKEA, Biffa Award and Sainsbury’s.

Sainsbury’s is also the lead corporate sponsor for the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods Project.

Over 15 months, Sainsbury’s will be supporting the project and raising £1.5 million for tree planting by increasing the number of donations made from products in store.

Sainsbury’s will later this year also be giving customers the opportunity to make a ‘pledge’ in store to plant a tree to mark the Diamond Jubilee and promoting activity through the retailer’s Active Kids scheme, to encourage schools to plant trees.

Diamond partners IKEA, the Daily Mail, Biffa Award, Forestry Commission, and CDENT (County Durham Environmental Trust) have also generously supported the Jubilee Woods project.

To apply for a community tree pack, head to www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/jubilee-woods/communities or for a school pack, visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/jubilee-woods/what-you-can-do/schools/free-schools-packs.