Mar 03 2022

Free Trees in Wales!

My tree, Our forest / Fy nghoeden, Ein coedwig

 

So, what’s been happening in Wales?
We’ve been extremely busy developing a joint campaign with the Welsh Government, which has just been given it’s official name of ‘My tree, Our forest’ following evening focus groups.

Funded by the Welsh Government, in order to give hundreds of thousands of the public the opportunity to plant free trees, around £1.4M is being spent to deliver a marketing and communications campaign, telling people how to get their tree and the benefits trees bring, and funding the procurement and distribution of trees with our chosen community partner, Llais y Goedwig.

What is the My tree, Our forest campaign?
Native tree species will be provided as small tree saplings which will grow into small-medium sized trees, suitable for gardens and smaller spaces.

Pilot Phase – March 2022
There will be a pilot of 5,000 trees to be distributed from the first 5 community hubs (1,000 to each) in time for March 2022. Trees will be tagged with planting advice and a link to our Welsh care page.

Second Phase – November 2022 and March 2023
In November 2022 we will open 25 hubs to distribute around 200,000 trees and there will be a total of 3 routes for households to get a tree planted. When practically possible these will be accessed through dedicated webpages (on the WT website);
1. Households encouraged to collect a tree from their local community hub. Volunteers at these hubs will have received resources and training to advise on the planting and care of the trees being given away (around 200,000 trees).
2. If unable to collect a tree but the household are able to plant the tree themselves, an individual tree give away will be available through a digital booking system, delivering one of 24,000 trees direct to households.
3. Households encouraged to sign up to the ‘Plant a Tree for Me’ initiative. In doing so, we will plant a tree on their behalf at an agreed location in conjunction with the community partners (around 40,000 trees).

Trees given to households via route 1 or 2 will be provided with a tag that identifies how to plant the tree and a weblink on how to look after/care for the tree so it has the best chance of succeeding.

Who is it for?
It will provide every household in Wales the opportunity to plant a tree provided free of charge by the Welsh Government, or have a tree planted on their behalf. In particular, the scheme has been designed to be open to as many Wales residents as possible and wants all people of different backgrounds to come forward, especially those from diverse communities and others who may not have planted a tree before. There are 300,000 trees up for grabs in the first year (from now through to March 2023).

The public will be encouraged to look out for the promotional campaign on televisions, on radio, in the street, at community centres and on social media for more information on how to get your trees.

Who else is involved?
In addition to the Welsh Government and Coed Cadw/the Woodland Trust involvement, a Wales-wide community partner, Llais Y Goedwig, has been contracted to deliver a network of community hubs where the trees will be stored and handed out to people and community representatives.

Records of those who have collected trees (with relevant permissions) will be overseen by the community hubs and passed on to Coed Cadw/the Woodland Trust for evaluating the reach of the project. Coed Cadw/The Woodland Trust will work with the community partner to ensure community hubs have all they need to know on receiving and temporarily caring for the trees as well as advising tree planters where best to plant their tree, the best species to choose and how to care for their tree longer term.

When’s kick off?
Friday 25th February saw a national announcement across Wales kicking off the pilot phase of ‘My tree, Our forest’ for the month of March. Our chosen creative agency will then be supporting with regional targeted press releases that are local to the 5 collection hubs.

Keep your eyes peeled for social media posts with the #MyTreeOurForest / #FyNghoedenEinCoedwig and PR for the launch of the campaign. Phase 2 will see us developing exciting tv, radio and influencer activity amongst other routes.

We are also reaching out to our members and supporters through emails and our Broadleaf magazine.

A big thank you is needed for so many people involved in this campaign but, in particular our Wales & UK colleagues who’ve supported us and continue to do so to develop this campaign further.

As volunteers you are of course eligible to claim your household tree. Feel free to tell your friends and family too! If you’d like to find out where your nearest Hub is and when it is open, please see our website page: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/wales-tree-giveaway/

Any more detailed questions should be directed to walestreegiveaway@woodlandtrust.org.uk  

Written by Llinos Humphreys, Communications and Engagement Manager for Wales

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