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Coed Cadw opens applications for free tree packs for schools & community groups in Wales

Tree packs are available for schools and community groups

Coed Cadw, The Woodland Trust in Wales, has reopened applications for its free tree packs for schools and community groups.

Last spring, more than 40,000 trees were distributed to 205 organisations across Wales; the trust wants to smash that target in spring 2023.

Applications for trees to be delivered in 2023 are now open, and Woodland Trust senior project lead Vicki Baddeleyhopes even more schools and groups will take up the offer of free saplings and get planting in the coming year.

She said: “This year our communities have really felt the impact of climate change first-hand, and many are starting to appreciate the incredible benefits trees can bring to provide much needed shade, shelter, and help to prevent flooding.”

“By offering the free tree packs we aim to equip our schools and communities with a simple yet mighty tool to combat the effects of climate change, as well as provide ever more vital food and habitats for local wildlife.”

The Woodland Trust’s free tree packs scheme has seen trees sent far and wide this year, with the spring giveaway delivering a total 623,910 saplings to 3,865 organisations across the UK:

  • England: 506,415 trees to 3186 organisations
  • Scotland: 76,665 trees to 474 organisations
  • Wales: 40,830 trees to 205 organisations

One of the organisations which has benefitted from the free tree packs is Blackwood RFC, a community rugby club in South Wales.

Tree planting at Blackwood RFC

Back in 2020, the club and its grounds were heavily flooded by Storm Dennis. Part of this flood eroded a substantial part of the riverbank which runs alongside the main pitch, and most of the trees and hedges were washed away. Without the trees, the riverbank would erode further – losing valuable wildlife shelter and changing the scenery. The club wanted to restore this, so applied for one of Coed Cadw’s wildlife tree packs.

Club Operations Manager Simon Nye explained, “We received a wildlife tree pack of 420 saplings, and the Coed Cadw website was full of useful tips and guidance. It was our first tree planting exercise as a club, and we asked everyone to get stuck in. Grandparents, parents and players of our mini and junior sections came along as willing volunteers, and together with committee members, we planted the riverbank with all 420 trees in one morning!

Through the experience, we feel that our community has become stronger, and it’s nice to think that the children will be able to see the trees growing as they rise through the age groups here at the club. 

Once they’re established, we hope the trees will encourage more wildlife to the area – we’ve seen otters here recently. It also fits with the club’s wish to become carbon neutral and is just one part of our plans to achieve this. We still have a few gaps on the riverbank and hope to plant another 200 trees by applying for another tree pack for planting in 2023.”

Woodland Trust senior project lead Vicki Baddeley added: “The desire to plant trees is growing all the time; there will be 600,000 saplings up for grabs this time and I have no doubt they will go quickly, so I would advise any interested groups to apply sooner rather than later to secure their saplings. We couldn’t do this without the support and generosity of our funders, and our thanks go out to each of them for their vital support.”

The tree packs have been generously funded by lead partners: Sainsbury’s, Lloyds Bank, Ovo Energy, DFS, Joules, Bank of Scotland and Sofology.

To apply for a free tree pack or view terms & conditions, visit: woodlandtrust.org/freetrees.