Leicestershire and Shropshire farmers offered free trees

Leicestershire farmers are being encouraged to apply for free tree and hedgerow packs to encourage more planting across the county.

This is one of the least wooded counties in the country – averaging just 6% woodland cover compared with a national average of 10%.

As a result, Leicestershire County Council has teamed up with the Woodland Trust to offer the free tree and hedgerow packs, which are designed to help renew and restore existing woodland, as well as replacing trees lost to ash dieback.

See also: UK still falling short of tree planting targets

Each tree pack includes 45 native trees – 15 each of oak, crab apple and hazel.

The hedgerow packs are made up of 250 hedgerow shrubs, including a mix of hawthorn, hazel, blackthorn, field maple and dog rose, as well as oaks to plant at regular intervals along the hedgerow.

The council gave away 30,000 trees through the scheme last year and is hoping to hit a target of 50,000 trees in 2022.

Successful applicants will be able to collect their trees from the tree nursery at Beaumanor Hall in Woodhouse in November 2022 or February 2023.

Anyone who would like to apply for a free tree or hedgerow pack can register by emailing lcctreepacks@woodlandtrust.org.uk or by calling 0330 333 5303, quoting “Leicestershire County Council trees”.

Shropshire tree bundles

Meanwhile, Shropshire Council has launched a free community tree scheme, ahead of the 2022/23 planting season.

The council is supplying 21,000 transplant trees and hedgerow stock, in groups of 20 pre-mixed species designed to meet a range of different planting conditions.

For example, applicants looking to plant or gap up existing hedgerows can apply for a pack that will include hawthorn (35%), field maple (20%), blackthorn (15%), hazel (15%), dog rose (5%), dogwood (5%) and guelder rose (5%).

The mix for lowland woodland sites includes English oak (20%), sessile oak (20%), small-leaved lime (20%), wild cherry (10%), hazel (10%), rowan (10%), hawthorn (5%) and crab apple (5%).

Alternative mixes are available for exposed upland sites and for locations that have poor drainage.

Any planting must be fully visible to the public, if not directly accessible, and should support the objectives of enhancing landscape and wildlife values.

Applications can be made online for multiples of bundles of 20 trees or hedgerow transplants, based on three different woodland options and one hedgerow option, up to a maximum of 200 trees and shrubs (10 bundles) per applicant.

Further details of Shropshire Council’s scheme, including how to apply and the terms and conditions.