Tree planting offers to brighten the landscape

Dame Mary Peters has teamed up with the Woodland Trust to mark the start of National Tree Week by planting native saplings, including crab apple and silver birch.  The Olympic gold medallist is calling on people of all ages to head outdoors and make the simple, but positive gesture of planting a tree.

Tree Week, run by the Tree Council, marks the start of the tree planting season.  It’s an annual celebration of trees and woods, and this year runs from 24 November to 2 December.

Dame Mary said: “Trees and woods offer a huge range of public benefits, including health benefits. They promote a sense of well-being; purify the air we breathe; offer shelter and shade; and provide homes for our precious wildlife.  I really hope that everyone – adults and children – will be inspired to get planting and, with positive and collective efforts, we really can change landscapes.”

Patrick Cregg, director of the Woodland Trust, said:  “With just 7 per cent woodland cover, Northern Ireland falls well below the European average of 44 per cent. We’re asking everyone to plant a tree or trees for the benefit of the landscape, the environment and for National Tree Week; and we’re offering a number of incentives to help people throughout the country play a part.”

Here’s how to get your tree planting underway:

  • Schools, community groups and youth groups: Groups can apply for FREE packs of native trees for planting in school or community grounds.  Choose between packs of 30, 105 or 420 saplings.  Apply online now at  The tree packs, sponsored by Sainsbury’s, IKEA FAMILY and Biffa Award, will be delivered in March 2013.
  • Landowners: Thanks to funding from Biffa Award, the Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods scheme is helping landowners, who aren’t eligible for a government grant, create their very own woodland. The Trust will guide you from start to finish, and will contribute up to 60 per cent of the cost.  Find out more at or telephone 0845 293 5689.
  • Plant a tree in your garden: Do your bit for Tree Week by simply planting a tree in your own back garden!  You’ll not only enhance the beauty of your own home, but will create a much-needed home for wildlife too.  Visit your local nursery or garden centre; or order online at

The Woodland Trust have provided some helpful guidelines to get your tree planting under way. Please click the link below to view the document.


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