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Council to give away 2,000 free native trees

PUBLISHED: 18:45 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 00:01 12 January 2019

David Carter and Bob Penny with some of the trees at the Trees for Years event in 2014

David Carter and Bob Penny with some of the trees at the Trees for Years event in 2014

Colchester Borough Council to hold its annual Trees for Years event on Saturday February 2nd.

Layla Osborn, then 11, holds up the trees her family picked up from the Colchester Borough Council as part of the annual Trees for Years initiative in 2015.Layla Osborn, then 11, holds up the trees her family picked up from the Colchester Borough Council as part of the annual Trees for Years initiative in 2015.

More than 2,000 trees are to be handed out free to people living in north Essex as part of Colchester Borough Council’s annual Tree for Years initiative.

Now in its 13th year the scheme sees native trees, shrubs and fruit bushes, which the council says have been chosen for their value to bees and wildlife friendly gardening, made available to individuals, community groups, schools and town and parish councils.

This year’s giveaway has been made possible by a £2,000 sponsorship from idVerde, which works in partnership with the council to maintain the borough’s green spaces.

The trees will be handed out on a first come, first served basis on Saturday February 2nd.

On the day, each household will be able to choose up to three plants to take away while schools, community groups or parish councils can take up to fifteen. Trees include field maple, silver birch, red stem dogwood, yellow stem dogwood and for those with less garden space there will be a variety of shrubs including lavender, bird cherry, blackcurrant, gooseberries and raspberries. All trees are bare-root and range in height from 50cm to 1.2m.

People can pick up a free planting guide on the day and members of the council’s Parks team will be on hand to advise on the best plants to suit people’s gardens.

Cllr Tina Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “A big thank you to idverde for their continued support and sponsorship of this inspiring initiative. Last year, around 700 people attended the event and all the plants had been snapped up by midday – so be quick.”

The event takes place at Rowan House, Sheepen Road, Colchester CO3 3WG from 10am until 1pm or until stock runs out.

Colchester Borough Council  Parks and Recreation Officer David Carter with some of free trees in 2016.Colchester Borough Council Parks and Recreation Officer David Carter with some of free trees in 2016.

The trees are only available to people living in the borough, who will be asked to show proof of their address with a utility bill or similar. People planning to attend should also bring their own bags. To find out more about Trees for Years, visit www.colchester.gov.uk/treesforyears

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