Katy Gunn planting a tree in the National Forest

This Valentine’s my lovely husband bought me a tree to plant in The National Forest. So this Saturday we left London at 7am to head towards Leicester to plant our tree. I recognise this is slightly ironic because of the amount of pollution caused by driving the car all that way but in our defence we had to go back to see our family that weekend which was only an hour from the forest and we drive a hybrid. Nevertheless I see the irony!

National Forest UK

The National Forest is an environmental project that spans 200 miles of the Midlands across three counties; Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. It was originally one of the country’s least wooded regions and so 25 years ago they set the aim to create The National Forest which would increase woodland cover to about a third of all the land within its boundary. This is now well under way with woodland cover having increased from 6% to approx. 20% today. You can read more about it here.

We arrived at a school just outside Groby, Leicestershire and were greeted by lots of smiling faces from the project. There were loads of people there from all parts of the country including London and we were told people come from all over the country for all different types of reasons to plant a tree. We got to choose from 6 types of tree including Cherry Tree, Silver Birch and Common Oak. We went for the Oak as it has a lifespan of up to 1,000 years so it seemed a pretty cool thought that it would be there for that long.

The tree was tiny, it’s so crazy to think it’ll grow in a few hundred years to be a colossal thing you can hug! 😉

Tree planting in the National Forest
Tree planting in the National Forest

Being totally unprepared Londoners I arrived in a dress and nice boots whilst my husband had even forgotten a coat. Others came fully prepared with spades, wellies and waterproofs. Nevertheless we dug our little hole and put the sapling into it’s new home. We hope it likes it as it is stuck there for the next 1000 years!

It was a lovely morning (apart from the early rise and mega long drive) but i would highly recommend to anyone as a special gift or in memory of someone – as you’re really doing your bit to change the English landscape and create a better environment for generations to come. 


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