The lowdown on tree procurement
As a significant player and influencer in the UK forestry sector it is crucial that the Woodland Trust has complete confidence in the trees that we plant, whilst getting the best value from our supporters’ money. Responsible tree procurement reduces the risk of spreading diseases and pests through plant imports, and we are committed to ensuring that all of the stock we use is sourced and grown in the UK. Large-scale procurement of appropriate stock is a cornerstone of our goal to plant 64 million trees by 2025. To make this a reality we have invested £4.5 million since 2014, the biggest contract of its kind in the Trust’s history.
The process begins with seed collections by Forestart, the UK’s primary supplier of tree seed to the forestry industry. We then have contracts with forest nurseries in England and Scotland who grow on that seed into the saplings we distribute and plant to create resilient new woodland around the country. The materials are coded and batched so all trees are fully traceable at every stage of their journey from seed collection through to planting.
The Trust is also working with Grown in Britain to deliver a process of inspection and licencing for the trade sector supporting larger scale woodland creation and tree planting projects; 21 nurseries have signed up to our voluntary ‘UK Sourced and Grown Assurance’ (UKSG) scheme which guarantees stock grown by participating nurseries that is sold with the UKSG badge has been raised from seed sourced only from the UK and grown on in the UK for their entire lifespan.