Giv­ing Na­ture a help­ing hand

Imag­ine lis­ten­ing to a dawn cho­rus you helped cre­ate or watch­ing wildlife you have made a home for, urges the Wood­land Trust

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NA­TIVE wood­land is one of the rich­est habi­tats for wildlife. Its trees pro­vide vi­tal space for all man­ner of liv­ing things, from plants and flow­ers to am­phib­ians, fungi, birds, bugs, bees, but­ter­flies, voles and foxes. How­ever, the UK has one of the low­est rates of wood­land cover in Europe and our wildlife habi­tats des­per­ately need your help.

The sim­ple act of plant­ing trees benefits Na­ture from the mo­ment the saplings go into the ground and car­ries on the good work for gen­er­a­tions. Whether it’s a few na­tive trees or a whole wood, you re­ally can make a dif­fer­ence.

Thanks to gen­er­ous fund­ing, the Wood­land Trust sup­plies more than 800,000 free trees to com­mu­nity groups and schools across the UK each year. You can choose from a va­ri­ety of tree packs to help bring wildlife to your neigh­bour­hood and har­vest your own fruit, nuts or wood­fuel.

Where can I plant? Trees will grow on most land, but the great­est benefits for wildlife are achieved by ex­tend­ing and connecting ex­ist­ing woods and hedges, or by cre­at­ing new habi­tats. Plant­ing along­side tracks, widen­ing ex­ist­ing hedges and fill­ing hard-to-work field cor­ners are all easy ways to make extra space for wildlife. Wood­land Trust tree packs come in a va­ri­ety of sizes, so de­pend­ing on how much or how lit­tle space you have, there will be the per­fect pack for you.

How soon will the trees at­tract wildlife? Wildlife starts to colonise im­me­di­ately,

with bugs and in­sects at­tract­ing birds and bats to the area.

What tree species are best for wildlife?

All na­tive trees and shrubs are valu­able for wildlife and an ideal wood­land of­fers both food and shel­ter. Hawthorn flow­ers and fruit are on the wildlife menu for months— trees and shrubs that of­fer sus­te­nance should be in any tree-plant­ing mix.

What else can I do to at­tract wildlife? Get cre­ative with your plant­ing. A mix of

shrubs and smaller trees adds colour and va­ri­ety, both vis­ually and en­vi­ron­men­tally. Flow­er­ing trees pro­vide nec­tar for bees and other in­sects, as well as pro­vid­ing nest space for birds and shel­ter for small mam­mals like hedge­hogs. Find out how your com­mu­nity or school can get in­volved and ap­ply for a tree pack to­day at www.wood­landtrust.org. uk/free­trees

‘Whether it’s a few trees or a whole wood, you can make a dif­fer­ence’

Dig­ging your­self a hole: we aren’t cur­rently plant­ing enough trees in the UK, but it’s a prob­lem that could be eas­ily reme­died

You can help the en­vi­ron­ment and its wildlife by plant­ing new trees, sup­plied by the Wood­land Trust, in your lo­cal area

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