Kent County Council (KCC) is inviting applications for free trees to help reach its target of an additional 1.5 million trees to be planted in the county.
The council launched a series of pilots as part of the Trees Outside Woodland programme which is developing sustainable new ways to increase tree cover with the benefits that this brings in dealing with weather extremes, helping nature and improving the environment for people.
The £2.5 million, three-year programme is funded by government and delivered in partnership by The Tree Council, Natural England, and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs with five local councils.
As part of the scheme, thousands of native trees will be available ready for planting later this year. Kent schools, community groups, landowners, businesses and residents can able apply for them now.
Trees can be planted in school fields, open spaces, public gardens or private land, as long as you get landowner’s permission.
Trees will be supplied in bundles of 10, 20, or 30 and not as individual trees. Applicants can apply for different bundles to suit the location and soil type of the area in which they plan to plant them. Plastic-free biodegradable guards and stakes will also be provided with the trees to help them grow and thrive.
KCC’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Susan Carey, said: “Our Plan Tree strategy seeks to boost the number of trees in Kent by 1.5 million. KCC is committed to planting 30,000 trees on its own land but we need many more sites to reach this ambitious target.
“We’re asking Kent’s residents to help find sites that are right for trees. It can be a rural or urban location, public or private land and I’d encourage everyone to consider if they can help us reach this goal.”
KCC’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, said: “We absolutely recognise how important trees are to our continued prosperity as a county.
“Together with the other partners in this project, we will be able to use this to test how different funding approaches affect the uptake of tree planting schemes and the number, and health, of those that are planted.”
Online applications will close on Monday 8th August, or when all the trees have been applied for. Successful applicants will need to be able to come and collect their trees from one of three designated collection points across the county.
People can find more information and guidance notes on the scheme at www.kent.gov.uk/freetrees, or by contacting the council’s dedicated Trees Outside Woodlands Project Officer by emailing PlanTree@kent.gov.uk.