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Mayor tree planting Eastville Park - Photo by Chris Bahn Sir Harry Studholme - Tree planting Eastville Park 13 - Photo by Chris Bahn

The Big Tree Plant Funding Scheme

How the Big Tree Plant Grant Scheme worked

The Grant Scheme is now closed to new applicants.

Groups applied using an electronic application form which included guidance. Six grants rounds ran, each with an application deadline. Groups were encouraged to seek advice from tree planting partners and get in touch with the scheme administrator, Groundwork London, to seek advice and clarification about the grant.

Once Groundwork London had analysed the applications for eligibility and had made recommendations, an independent Grants Panel  met to discuss and approve or reject projects. Many groups were given further advice on how to improve their projects and meet the scheme’s criteria.

After six full grant rounds and nearly 400 applications, 177 projects were approved, from big to small and ranging from Plymouth to Newcastle and from Brighton to Carlisle.
Planting continued through the winter of 2014-15. Tree care and maintenance will carry on for several years.

The analysis of the scheme shows:

• 60% the trees were planted in England’s one third most deprived areas or those with the least green space

• more than 4,200 different sites

• more than 5,400 street trees

• more than 22,000 fruit trees

The Big Tree Plant:

  • was a national campaign that brought together a partnership of national organisations who already plant trees, as well as civic and community groups working with Defra and the Forestry Commission
  • was launched in December 2010 to increase the number of trees  (individual, small groups, street trees and fruit trees) planted in towns, cities and neighbourhoods throughout England
  • encouraged and supported people to establish, protect and enhance local green spaces
  • was supported by a Forestry Commission funding scheme, giving up to £4 million in grants (2011 to 2015) to help pay for the planting of at least one million new trees in urban areas
  • aimed to make neighbourhoods more attractive, healthy places to live; particularly in areas of greatest deprivation and/or where there is little greenery
  • Research is available into the character of groups that applied and the benefits and challenges they faced
Last updated: 31st January 2018