Green-fingered organisations in County Durham are being offered grants of up to £150 to help plant trees throughout the area.  

Durham County Council is offering the grants as part of National Tree Week, which aims to encourage tree planting and raise awareness of the importance of proper care and maintenance of trees.

National Tree Week, which the council has taken part in since 1979, is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration and launches the start of the winter tree planting season.

The Tree Council organised the first National Tree Week in 1975 and now up to a million trees are planted nationally each year as a result of this campaign. 

Over the past three years 3,205 trees have been planted in County Durham, including:

  • Frosterley Angling Club planted 225 willow trees along the River Wear for the protection of the riverbanks and to help improve the habitat of native brown trout.
  • Friends of Bearpark Woods planted 45 trees to diversify the predominantly pine woodland planted on the site of Bearpark Colliery.
  • Windlestone School planted 10 fruit trees to create a complete fruit garden by growing a variety of trees, bushes, and plants. The fruit will be used by the students to prepare a variety of dishes as an enterprise project.

This year’s Tree Week will run from 25 November to 3 December 2017 and will give the people of County Durham an opportunity to enhance their local tree-scape.

Cllr Brian Stephens, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “We’ve been supporting National Tree Week since 1979, during which time we have helped make the county greener by funding the planting of hundreds of trees.

“We would encourage people to make the most of this annual opportunity to get planting in their local area.

“Trees can make such a difference and quite literally breathe new life in to a community, so we are really pleased to be part of the scheme again this year.”

A 100 per cent grant up to a maximum of £150 is available to parish councils, community groups and schools wishing to undertake well-planned tree planting projects during National Tree Week.

Grants are also available for individuals or organisations to plant in-field (individual large open-grown trees), hedgerow trees and field corners up to 50 m² (538 square feet). 

For an in-field planting project to be eligible the scheme must be visible from a road or public right of way and not be in a private garden or within the curtilage of a residential property.

Anyone wishing to apply for a grant should contact the Landscape and Arboriculture Team on 03000 267 133 or e mail landscape@durham.gov.uk  

Early application is recommended as grants are allocated on a first come first served basis.

Completed application forms should arrive no later than Friday 1 December 2017.