National Tree Week

Look up © Julie Newman

Image taken as part of the remote nature ‘Wildlife Wonder’ photography workshop.

National Tree Week runs this year from the 28th November to the 6th December, celebrating trees and tree planting across the UK.

The week marks the start of the tree planting season, winter being the best time to get trees settled in the ground before they grow and sprout leaves in spring and summer.

Diving in

Perhaps there are ways for you to get involved with tree planting locally, or you might even have the space for one or two in your garden. Trees that don’t take up too much room but that are brilliant for a wild garden include birch and rowan. Maybe you would like to find out more about the trees you see regularly, on the walk to the shops or work. There are lots of resources online perfect for beginners or the more experiences arborist; whether it’s identifying trees from their leaves and bark or learning about some of the species that depend on woodland. Check the Wildlife Trusts and Woodland Trust websites to get started.

Tree in the mist

(C) Linda Priestley

Trees and climate change

Woodlands are one of the most well-known habitats for taking in carbon and helping in the fight against climate change. Allowing woodlands to naturally regenerate (when seeds are left to grow where they fall from nearby trees) is the best option for wildlife and the long-term health of the forest. Seeds that come from a local, established woodland will be suited to the area and provide the right habitat and food for the creatures that live there.

However, allowing woodlands to regrow or establish naturally is not always possible. This includes areas where there have not been trees before, such as gardens, or where the seed bank from a previous wood has gone from the soil. These areas are where tree planting can be used. You should check the area being planted is not already an important wildlife habitat such as a meadow or heath.

As part of the Wilder Portsmouth initiative, in partnership with community orchards, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust are planting fruit trees on previously disused land. The areas were cleared of debris and made ready for planting. Crab apple trees will be planted, their small fruits being perfect for cooking and very attractive to wildlife too.

If you know of an area that might benefit from tree planting or could be made a bit wilder, then you can see if there is already a Team Wilder in your area. If not, the Trust can help link you up with others interested in getting involved locally. Visit to find out more.