More than 9,000 NHS Forest trees will be going into the ground this planting season, which begins this week. Over 40 healthcare sites across England and Wales will receive trees from us this year. They will be planting hedgerows and memorial trees, as well as restoring and creating woodlands, between now and the end of March.
The start of the tree planting season is marked by National Tree Week, which runs this year from 26 November until 4 December. This initiative, which is run each year by the Tree Council, celebrates the incredible contribution that trees make to wellbeing, climate and ecosystems. The Tree Council is also hosting two free online Tree Talks as part of the week’s themed events.
The planting plans
- One of the first sites to get their saplings in the ground is the new Carlisle Healthcare South Hub, whose community planting day is taking place on 7 December. Helping to plant the 500 trees are pupils from a local primary school, who will be assisting with the creation of a hedgerow, while learning about the benefits that these habitats provide for wildlife. This new, zero-carbon rated site was built by United Healthcare Development, who is inviting the GPs, anyone involved with the build, and the wider community to plant trees in the afternoon, which can be dedicated to loved ones if they wish.
- A partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners will see 192 native bird cherry trees planted at GP sites to mark the RCGP’s 70th anniversary. The trees were chosen for their scented, white blossoms, which will offer a cheerful welcome to staff and patients when they bloom each spring.
- Longstanding NHS Forest member Yorkshire Ambulance Service will be planting a total of 760 trees across six of its sites. Previously, they have planted NHS Forest saplings to create small orchards for staff, a memorial forest to commemorate those who died during the pandemic, and to support biodiversity.
- Guild Lodge in Preston is planting an impressive 1,000 trees this winter. The site was a winner of our 2021 NHS Forest award for the most trees planted in the 2020-21 season; this secure mental health hospital makes the most of its on-site woodlands to create walkways, improve wetlands and to offer therapeutic woodwork sessions.
This work is being supported by the government’s Trees Call to Action Fund, which will see us planting 21,000 trees in England over the next three years. This initiative aims to expand and connect our trees and woodlands as part of the green economy, and to connect people with these green spaces for their health and wellbeing.
Support our work
Would you like to get involved? You can sponsor a tree for the NHS Forest. If you’d like to sponsor a tree as a Christmas gift, you can download a greetings card to send to the recipient.
Read more about tree planting on healthcare sites, and download our Tree Planting Guidance Pack.
This project is funded by the Trees Call to Action Fund. The fund was developed by Defra in partnership with the Forestry Commission and is being delivered by the Heritage Fund.
Banner photo: Tree planting event at Fairfields with Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Photo: Alexis Percival / YAS. All rights reserved.