Tree campaign kicks-off with local volunteers' help

Defra's £4m The Big Tree Plant campaign launched on 2 December with the aim of planting one-million trees in deprived urban areas.

Volunteers are likely to plant many of the trees, which will mainly be native whips, with a few container-grown street trees.

British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and Keep Britain Tidy, which will plant 100,000 trees, will also receive funding. The Woodland Trust and Tree Council will help distribute the grants and support the programme's delivery and communication strategy.

Woodland Trust head of public relations Paul Hetherington said there will be opportunities for growers to provide trees. The £4m pot will come from Government savings from advertising budgets and donations from the corporate sector. Groups from deprived communities can apply for grants to buy the trees, which will come from UK nurseries. Alba and Cheviot currently supply the Woodland Trust.

Hetherington said the trust approved of community groups "owning" the new trees: "I think with the right guidance, volunteers can do a good job. The trees will be planted by people who want them." He added that aftercare and planting information were all part of the campaign's process.

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