Tree Week is a national campaign by the Tree Council and it marks the beginning of the UK’s tree-planting season. This season and next the NHS Forest will be planting 150,000 trees across NHS sites in England.
This year Tree Week runs from 25 November to 3 December and we have sent out over 5500 trees to 29 sites in time for this national event. This is just the start of our tree-planting season with thousands more trees poised to be sent out to healthcare sites over the coming weeks. Tree Week is a great time to think about ordering trees for planting in the new year.
Here are some examples of the tree-planting projects taking place during Tree Week 2023:
- The Yorkshire Ambulance Service, led by the Environmental and Sustainability Manager Alexis Percival, will be planting 1250 this season starting during Tree Week. Since 2010 Alexis has organised the planting of over 8000 trees and intends to continue the trend next season. Her original target was to plant a tree for every employee across the trust (all 8500 of them) but she now looks set to surpass this. Alexis will be planting on seven of the ambulance stations in her region. We love her ambition, using her role at Yorkshire Ambulance Service to plant across many different sites. We hope that other regional ambulance services will consider following suit and plant across multiple sites too.
- Portishead Medical Group is also planting this week. They have established a small garden in their grounds for their staff to enjoy. They have also created a wider community garden area, which is in active use as a social prescribing resource. This is for patients who have self-referred or have been referred for sessions with a trained horticultural therapist. They are undertaking the planting of 100 trees with staff and their families as part of a staff wellbeing activity.
- In Truro, Cornwall a green therapy programme to support survivors of trauma, including staff, is being created. They are installing yurts to host lived experience-led staff training and are supporting an allotment and community garden. They are planting their trees to create screens around these yurts as well as brighten the site and support pollinators.
- Moseley Hall Hospital in Birmingham is planting trees as part of their biodiversity plan. They have large grounds and planting new trees will be part of their new schemes of developing wellbeing spaces for NHS staff, patients, and visitors. Their Estate team will be working alongside rehabilitation patients to work on the garden beds as part of their health care. The CEO of Moseley Hall Hospital has arranged planting days with the board members, staff, patients, and ex-patients.
- In Colchester, Abbey Field Medical Centre is working in partnership with local organisations Abberton Rural Training (ART) and Community 360 to develop a community garden for the benefit of patients, the local community and the team. ART are on site every week to provide training to anyone interested in gaining a qualification in Horticulture. They welcome anyone who has a love of gardening whatever challenges they are going thorough or have been through and some people are referred through social prescribing. This successful project has further plans for a reflective garden which is where 30 trees will be planted this week.
This is just a small selection of the wonderful work going on over Tree Week. We hope you can see that scale of planting and the mixture of projects varies greatly. We are so grateful to all of you. By planting trees on NHS sites you are starting the conversation about how trees and our natural environment are intricately linked to our health. Thank you for participating in and adding to the NHS Forest.
This is just the beginning. We are still taking your applications for tree planting for this season! Whether that be 30 trees or 3000 we would love to hear from you. Apply for trees for this season, learn about the bundles available here!
Follow us on Twitter/X for live updates as Tree Week happens.