One thousand trees will be given away in a scheme designed to enhance the areas. For the 15th consecutive year, South Derbyshire District Council's has launched its free tree scheme with 1,000 to be given away.

Residents, schools and community groups can apply for trees to enhance their local neighbourhood, ensuring the National Forest lives up to its name in the area.

From now until 5pm on Monday, October 23, applicants can choose from four varieties of native tree – hazel, whitebeam, holly and cherry plum. All trees are two years old and are up to approximately 60cm high, and include information on how to plant and care for them.

As in previous years, applicants can ask for up to two trees per household or 10 trees if they are applying on behalf of a school or community group.

Planting more trees can make a big difference to how people feel about where they live. Studies have shown that living in leafy, green areas has a positive effect on people’s wellbeing and health and can even boost house prices.

Hazel has edible nuts in autumn and bright yellow lambs tail catkins in February which provide essential early pollen for bees. It can be coppiced to provide bean poles, but makes a lovely small tree if left to grow.

Cherry plums are small trees or large shrubs producing pretty flowers, whose fruits can be used to make jam.

Whitebeam is an attractive tree and good for wildlife. It has white flowers followed by small bright red fruits, which birds enjoy.

Holly is an attractive garden tree which can be trimmed to a neat dome shape. Trees are either male or female – with berries appearing in the autumn on the female trees if they have been pollinated from a male tree growing nearby.

The free trees initiative is run in partnership with The National Forest Company, as well as North West Leicestershire District Council and East Staffordshire Borough Council.

Applications can be made online here or by calling 01283 595795 during office hours.

More information is available from the Environmental Education Project team by calling 01283 535039 or emailing

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