The first NHS Forest trees of the season are going in the ground this week, which coincides with National Tree Week. The event, which runs from November 27 to December 5 this year, is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, organised by the Tree Council. It marks the start of the tree planting season, which runs from November to March.
Fourteen of our NHS Forest sites are planning to plant a total of 1,239 saplings on or near healthcare sites during National Tree Week. These sites stretch from Southampton on the south coast of England, to Grantown-on-Spey in the Scottish Highlands; from Manchester and Bath in the east to Sherburn and Grimsby in the west. Our sites range from large general hospitals to ambulance stations and GP surgeries, and are both urban and rural.
This winter the NHS Forest expects to plant more trees than ever before. Throughout England, Wales and Scotland, 66 NHS Forest sites have plans to plant over 12,000 trees between them. Over the past six months we’ve worked with each healthcare site to help them select appropriate species, design their planting and organise their planting events. We are excited to have reached the start of our 2021/22 tree planting campaign, and we are looking forward to sharing updates on the projects that will be taking place up and down the country. See the map below for an illustration of the geographical spread of our tree planting plans this week.
To give just a brief flavour of some of the National Tree Week projects:
- Grantown-on-Spey Medical Practice in northern Scotland will be planting 35 NHS Forest saplings to increase the biodiversity of their adjacent woodland, Grantown Health Wood, which is managed by the surgery to benefit the local community and environment.
- At Harrison House, an adult inpatient unit in Grimsby, 270 NHS Forest trees will be planted to complement the programme of outdoors and horticultural therapy on-site, adding to the visual attractiveness and calm nature of the site’s green spaces.
- Crowlin House, a social care unit in Southampton, is planting an orchard to improve their site’s biodiversity, create an attractive green space for staff and service users, and provide an opportunity for service users to learn about the environment.
The Tree Council are running online webinars during National Tree Week on a variety of topics – from hedgerow planting advice to Scottish flute music. They are free to attend and you can book here. Throughout the week you can follow #PlantForOurFuture on Twitter will and you can loop the NHS Forest into your discussions by tagging @NHSForest.