National Tree Week

Change Your View - Plant Trees

National Tree Week 2012
Saturday 24th November – Sunday 2nd December

Recent events have confirmed that the view across the countryside and in our towns is set to change faster than anyone could have expected.  In recent years, pests and diseases have started to threaten some of our most loved trees, such as oak and horse chestnut, but the spread of Chalara fraxinea (ash dieback) and the anticipated devastation of the UK population of ash trees has left everyone considering what the next steps should be.  

It is almost exactly 40 years since Secretary of State for the Environment Peter Walker announced that the following year was to be designated National Tree Planting Year.  This was the Government initiative to encourage the planting of new trees to replace those millions killed by Dutch Elm Disease.  The Tree Council was launched the following year to maintain the tree planting momentum to replace the losses resulting from Dutch elm disease, which had already wiped out more than 20 million of our most significant landscape trees:  it has been running National Tree Week every year since, encouraging everyone to celebrate the tree planting season in a variety of ways, not least of which is by planting more trees.  

This year, once again, the landscape is being altered.  We are facing losses that will change the view out of our windows, from town pavements, country footpaths and across fields and woods.  Since trees make a difference to so many aspects of life, wildlife and biodiversity – and that includes people – will be affected.  We need to act to change our view, both figuratively and literally.

The present Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, said:‪ “The Tree Council’s National Tree Week is the perfect time to inspire more people to plant trees in their local area. Trees make a huge impact on our rural and urban landscapes, and this week will see thousands more planted right across the country. At a time when people are planting trees, it’s important that we all take care when sourcing new trees and plants to reduce the risk of spreading disease.”

Pauline Buchanan Black, Director-General of The Tree Council said “We couldn’t have foreseen that we’d be faced with the losses from a tree disease of similar epidemic proportions just as we go in to National Tree Week, but this seems a timely moment to ask the public to think carefully about what will happen to their view and what they will do to restore it for future generations.  Anyone with land of their own, whether a garden, woodland or field, can make a difference to their view by adding a tree.  This year, though, the campaign carries particular significance as we look for ways to minimise the impact of ash dieback and carefully consider what to plant.  Not since Plant A Tree in ’73 has there been the same urgency to safeguard a view for the future”.

Please download the attachment below for the full press release.