Residents, schools and community groups are being invited to apply for free trees. Yes, you read that right – FREE TREES. South Derbyshire District Council is giving away over 1,000 free trees for the 16th consecutive year to help the area to bloom in the heart of The National Forest.
Applicants can choose from a variety of trees, including Common Pear, Alder Buckthorn, Rowan, Guelder Rose, Bird Cherry and Field Maple from 9am on Tuesday, 18 September until 5pm on Thursday, 25 October.
Households can ask for up to six trees, which are 30cm to 60cm high and up to two years old. Schools and community groups can apply for up to 60 trees.
Trees of cultural significance to Japan, such as maples, the indisputable king of autumn colours and cherry trees, renowned for their lovely blossom, will be available to mark 20 years of twinning between South Derbyshire and Toyota City.
Cllr Martyn Ford, Leader of South Derbyshire District Council, said:
“Trees don’t just keep South Derbyshire looking lush, green and attractive; they have an important role to play in keeping our air clean and providing valuable habitats for wildlife.
“This is a wonderful project and we would encourage residents, schools and community groups to take advantage and give trees a new home. We will also provide information on how to care for them.”
Of the options available, the pear tree’s fruits can be enjoyed fresh or used in sweet and savoury recipes, while Alder Buckthorn flowers develop into small berries, which ripen from green to red in late summer and then black in autumn and is a favourite for our garden wildlife.
Mature Rowan, with its dense floral clusters, and the shrub-like Guelder Rose will bring a smattering of white blossom followed by red berries to gardens. The Bird Cherry is a delicate tree with star-shaped flowers followed by small black cherries which are irresistible to birds.
The Free Tree Scheme is run in partnership with The National Forest Company, North West Leicestershire District Council and East Staffordshire Borough Council.
Applications can be made online at www.south-derbys.gov.uk/freetreescheme.
The trees will be available for collection on Thursday, November 29 and Saturday, December 1 between 10am and 2pm. Applicants need to collect their trees on one of those two dates – venues and other collection information will be sent to applicants once the scheme has closed.
Anyone without access to the internet can order their trees by ringing Customer Services at SDDC on 01283 595795 between 18 Sept-25 Oct.
More information is available by telephoning the Environmental Education Project team on 01283 535039 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.