The DEFRA 1 Million Trees scheme seemed ambitious at the beginning - planting a million trees with a million school children amongst everything that's been going on'd be forgiven for thinking it wouldn't happen!

But everyone has done an incredible job - collectively, Community Forests are on target to hit the 164,600 trees allocated to them by the finish date in 2020 (partners like the Woodland Trust are delivering the rest of the million). We are very proud to have contributed to that, with the highest proportional number of local schools involved, out of all of the Community Forests. Here's what we've achieved with local schools through the project:

  • In 2017, 698 kids planted 2820 trees.
  • In 2018, 264 kids planted 1497 trees.
  • In 2019, 1226 kids planted 3563 trees.
  • In 2020, 368 kids planed 1715 trees.

We just completed our last planting and we're giving a huge pat on the back to all of the kids and teachers involved in making this happen. Obviously, the aim of the project was not only to green-up school grounds, but to get children more engaged with nature, and help them to learn about the planting and aftercare of woodlands and the endless benefits of trees.

2 young girls plant trees

Children from Houghton Conquest Lower School in 2019


The national curriculum is changing - Key Stage 1 and 2 students will be taught names of trees, and get more opportunities to learn outside, hopefully developing an early enthusiasm for the natural environment. Schools involved in the scheme will pledge to look after the trees for 2 years after the planting, and obviously we'll be engaging with them all - offering support and advice, and helping them make the most of their new mini woodlands.

It's a scary time for the planet, with the UN only giving us a decade until climate change becomes unbeatable - but if we can get children on board at an early age, respecting the natural environment and doing their bit to combat the nasty effects of climate change, then it certainly makes us feel a bit more positive about the future. 

We've loved being part of this project and we want to thank all of the staff and students who got involved for the past 3 years:

Cotton End Primary School
Forest End Lower School
Houghton Conquest Lower School
Kempston Rural Lower School
Lakeview Primary School
Ridgeway School
Shelton Lower School
Shortstown Primary
Wixams Tree Primary
Wootton Lower School
Wootton Upper School

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You can choose to just hear about our events, or our campaigns and the work that we do locally. The more people that get involved, the quicker we'll be able to plant 5 million more trees and that can only be a good thing. Not just for the local area but for the planet. 

Money doesn't grow on trees - donate now

Land is expensive and managing woodlands is expensive. It isn't as simple as putting a tree in the ground and walking away - it costs £20 to plant one tree and look after it for 5 years. So trees don't cost the earth, but they might just save it.