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Colchester Borough Council’s biggest tree giveaway yet!

10,000 trees to be given away as part of the Colchester Woodland Project

Date issued: 28 January 2020

The annual ‘Trees for Years’ giveaway, where Colchester Borough Council gives away trees for free to residents, returns on Saturday 22 February 2020. This year, as part of the Colchester Woodland Project and to mark the start of a new decade, there will be ten thousand trees given away instead of the planned two thousand and twenty!

Colchester Borough Council is offering residents a big helping hand to green-up their gardens and the borough, by extending its annual ‘Trees for Years’ giveaway this year. As part of the Colchester Woodland Project ten thousand free native trees, shrubs and fruit bushes, chosen for their ability to promote wildlife in gardens and value to our local bee population, will be made available to residents, community groups, schools and town or parish councils on the day. Normally the event would see the number of trees match the year.

To support this extended number of trees, the event will this year take place in the car park of Colchester United JobServe Community Stadium, United Way, Colchester CO4 5UP. The trees are only available to borough residents, who will be asked to show proof of living in the borough with a utility bill or similar. Residents should also bring their own bags. 

Now in its 14th year, the scheme has been made possible thanks to £2,000 sponsorship from idVerde, which works in partnership with the council to maintain the borough’s green spaces, as well as through funding from the Better Colchester campaign as part of the Colchester Woodland project.

On the day, residents can arrive from 10am and trees will be given away on a first-come-first-served basis. Each household will be able to choose up to ten plants to take away – remaining stock dependant. Schools and community groups can take up to fifty, and town and parish councils should contact parks@colchester.gov.uk to discuss their requirements before the day if greater than fifty.

Trees include Field Maple, Silver Birch, Red Stem Dogwood, Yellow Stem Dogwood and for residents with less garden space there will be a variety of shrubs including Lavender, Bird Cherry, Blackcurrant, Gooseberries and Raspberries. All trees are bare-root and range in height from 50cm to 1.2m. Residents can also collect a free planting guide and members of the council's parks team will be on hand to advise on the best plants to suit residents’ gardens. 

The event will run until 2pm or until stock runs out. To celebrate this extended giveaway, there will also be several stalls and exhibitors on site from across the borough, including other council departments, a local children’s author, community groups, garden centres and more. There’ll be goodies and lots of information available – plus idVerde will have some impressive machinery and cutting equipment on display.

Andy Fulcher, of idVerde, said: “We are extremely pleased to support Trees for Years once again. Not only is this a great scheme to help residents and community groups to green up their gardens for free, but the day is always a great opportunity for our team to meet and get to know Colchester’s residents.”

Cllr Martin Goss, Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation, said: “A big thank you to idVerde for their continued support and sponsorship of this inspiring initiative, which gives residents a chance to help create a greener borough and boost healthy habitats for insects and wildlife.

“We’re really pleased to be able to extend the giveaway this year, too, thanks to the Colchester Woodland Project. Having a number of exhibitors on site is going to make this year’s event extra special.”

Cllr David King, Portfolio Holder for Business and Resources, added: “Trees for Years is always really well attended and trees and plants get snapped up quickly, so it’s fantastic to be able to give away even more this year thanks to the Colchester Woodland Project.

“Through the Woodland project we want to create a network of volunteers to help us create and maintain a greener and Better Colchester. Our simple message to the people of Colchester has always been to love your trees and play your part in helping us green our beautiful borough. Trees for Years is the perfect opportunity for residents to do just that.”

To find out more about the event visit www.colchester.gov.uk/treesforyears.

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