A National Tree Week to remember

8 December 2023 3 minute read

The Trees for Cities team gearing up for planting!

We kicked off National Tree Week this year with a huge planting event to mark the start of our 30th anniversary celebrations. At the same time we were taking part in the Big Give match-funding campaign - where donors helped us raise over £55k to help us reach our 2 millionth tree!

Double win

Our National Tree Week began with winning two awards at the London Tree and Woodland Awards! Our teams were thrilled to accept the Tree and Woodland Planting Award for our Language of Nature projects at Philpots Farm Open Space and Victoria Park in partnership with the Sensory Trust, and the Trees for Nature and Climate Award for our Lewisham SuDS for Schools project with Lewishham Council.

Naomi and John from Trees for Cities with the Tree and Woodland Planting Award

Planting to the beat

At Horsenden Home Field on Saturday 2nd, 150 volunteers helped plant over 3,700 whips and joined us in celebrating 30 years of planting urban trees.

Volunteers getting stuck in on a frosty morning in Horsenden

The cold weather was kept at bay by upbeat tunes provided by young people from Bollo Brook Youth Centre, as well as free hot lunches and friendly community vibes.

DJ's from Bollo Brook Youth Centre making sure we had tunes to dig to

Puppetry and theatre company, Smoking Apples, performed Arbor The Tree, engaging our younger attendees and teaching them about protecting and nurturing trees.

Arbor the Tree - a 17 foot tall puppet

As part of the Language of Nature programme with the Sensory Trust, we endeavoured to make the event as accessible as possible, with a British Sign Language Interpreter present, a relaxed sign-in option, and resources available in Widgit symbols to guide volunteers through the planting process (courtesy of the Sensory Trust).

Our team will be keeping an eye on these new baby trees, giving them the best possible start to life so that one day they'll be part of a beautiful woodland for future generations to enjoy.

Even more planting

Our work in Horsenden did not end there! 14 energised corporate volunteers from Temasek helped us plant around 300 whips in Locklear's Wood.

Employees from Tamesek getting stuck in on a chilly planting day

We also planted trees in the Glasgow region with brilliant school children in Bellshill, in partnership The Clyde Climate Forest and North Lanarkshire Council.

Our schools team also hosted a workshop at a Special Educational Needs school in London on the importance of urban trees.

Be the tree

We were part of the ‘Be the Tree’ launch, an art installation in central London that gives you the unique opportunity to project your face onto an urban tree!

This creation come from artist Jasper Toeli, who wants to encourage us to physically connect to the nature around us. You can 'be the tree' until December 22nd at Aviva Piazza in London.

Watch the video of the launch, where journalist Alistair Campbell and Esme Jones, our Engagement and Marketing Director, had a chance to 'be the tree'!

Big Give is a big success

We're over the moon to have our 2 Million Trees for Urban Communities campaign target reached - including gift aid we reached £58,215! We received more individual donations than any Big Give campaign so far, and we're just so grateful to everyone who donated to make this happen.

Our 30th anniversary wish is to plant our 2 millionth tree in 2024, and these donations have brought us a big step closer to that goal.


raised through the Big Give!

Our National Tree Week celebrations may be over, but our 30th Anniversary party has just begun! Join us for a planting day, and sign up to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with other ways to celebrate with us.

Finally, a huge thanks to the players of the People's Postcode Lottery for their continued support, which has enabled us to keep planting more urban trees for people and planet.

A volunteer planting a whip last Saturday. One more tree closer to 2 million!

Donate to Trees for Cities and together we can help cities grow into greener, cleaner and healthier places for people to live and work worldwide.