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NEWS RELEASE No: 1477311 JULY 2011

Big Tree Plant stumps up for Big Society

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The Big Tree Plant, a campaign aimed at encouraging people and communities in England to plant more trees where they work and live, has re-opened its grants scheme for applications today.

Over 30 projects from a wide range of community groups so far will benefit from £1.6m funding as part of this scheme. These projects alone aim to plant an additional 295,000 trees over the coming four years – but we want to do more in order to meet the target of one million trees!

The next application deadline is 5pm on 5 September 2011 so there is plenty of time to prepare your application. A new, easier to use application form has been produced and clear information can be found on the website.

Pam Warhurst, Forestry Commission Chair said:

"I was really excited by the response to our first round grant scheme from community groups of all shapes and sizes from across England. The first round of applications shows there is enormous energy from communities to improve their neighbourhoods by planting trees.

“The Forestry Commission will be working with national partners and local people to make the grant scheme a success and help reach the objective of planting one million trees."

Community involvement is key to the work of many organisations and that’s certainly the case for Community Forests North West.  With the £440,454 funding offered to them, they will plant 77,147 trees over four years across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and North Cheshire. The majority of their community planting schemes will be focussed in urban areas of high deprivation.

Kingsbrook Court in Bedfordshire, a supported living project comprising individual self contained flats for people with mental health needs, has already started to take advantage of the £770 grant offered to them. They will be using their funding to transform a bare, uninspiring environment into an attractive garden that people want to go outside and enjoy.

The Big Tree Plant brings together national tree-planting organisations and local groups working with Defra and the Forestry Commission.  The campaign is supported by grant funding of £4 million over the next four years and will get more people in local communities planting and caring for trees.

For the application form and guidance notes for The Big Tree Plant funding scheme go to  To contact The Big Tree Plant funding scheme administrator call 0800 856 7984. 

Further information on how to get involved in the campaign is available at:

Notes to editors:

The Big Tree Plant campaign brings together civil society partners and conservation organisations, such as The Tree Council, Woodland Trust, Trees for Cities, England’s Community Forests and Keep Britain Tidy among others, working with Defra and the Forestry Commission.

The next application deadline is 5pm on 5 September 2011. The Grants Panel will meet to consider applications on 22nd September 2011. Further funding rounds will be available over the next four years to bring the total up to one million trees.

Projects that have been approved and awarded funding to date include:

Herefordshire Orchard Topic Group, Herefordshire (£5460.50); Warley Woods Community Trust, West Midlands (£5200.00); BTCV Kent (£20,000.00); Northfield Ecocentre, West Midlands (£16,050.00); Boston Woods Trust Lincolnshire (£1846.00); Groundwork Thames Valley, Greater London (£25,000.00); Ideal for All, West Midlands (£18,000.00); Birmingham Trees for Life, West Midlands (£107,384.00); Creative Support – Stoke, Staffordshire (£650.00); Creative Support – Bedford, Bedfordshire (£770.00); Alnwick Community Development Trust, Northumberland (£1,317.76); London Orchard Project, Greater London (£71,780.00); Swanley Town Council, Kent (£6,130.00); Wilton Park Community Association, County Durham (£700.00); Horndean Community Association, Hampshire (£512.00); Shrewsbury Town Council, Shropshire (£32,704.00); Wellingore Parish Council, Lincolnshire (£902.00); Cricklade Bloomers, Wiltshire (£5,518.34); Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Lancashire (£9,000.00); Pit Stop 2000 Limited, West Yorkshire (£23,830.00); Staffordshire
Wildlife Trust, Staffordshire (£12,813.05); Trees for Cities – Outside London, National (£450,000.00); Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale, Greater Manchester (£25,000.00); Groundwork Lancashire and Wigan, Lancashire (£510.00); Trees for Cities – Pan London, Greater London (£240,000.00); Bee Guardian Foundation, Gloucestershire ( £25,000.00); London Wildlife Trust – Wild London Initiative, Greater London (£3,036.00); Community Forests North West, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside (£440,454.00); Friends of Wallsend Parks, Tyne and Wear (£2,200.00); Aspire Housing, Staffordshire (£5,644.38).

To date an estimated 103,783 trees have been planted or distributed for The Big Tree Plant by Keep Britain Tidy (with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers), the NHS Forest and the Tree Council. This includes 15,000 Eco School and 20,000 Community trees distributed by BTCV. An additional 4,282 trees have been recorded via the website.

The Big Tree Plant partners are (in alphabetical order):
• Civic Voice
• Department for Communities and Local Government
• Defra
• England’s Community Forests
• Forestry Commission England
• The Greater London Authority
• Groundwork
• Keep Britain Tidy
• Local Government Association
• Mayor of London
• National Forest Company
• Natural England
• The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
• The Tree Council
• Trees for Cities
• The Woodland Trust

The application form and guidance notes have been revised following the first application round.

Main differences include:

  • Clarification of the scheme’s aims, its competitive nature and the need for applicants to ‘make the case’ particularly how their project will improve the environment where tree cover is low and/or where deprivation is high; 
  • A greater emphasis on selecting smaller, more robust and inexpensive trees for most situations; 
  • A better indication of the grant scheme’s budget and how it will achieve value for money.

Media contact:
Rebecca Turner 0117 906 6030