UK's trees need all the Friends they can get
The Tree Council’s volunteer Tree Wardens are at the forefront of community action for trees and now, more than at any time since the Tree Warden Scheme was launched after the great storm of 1987, their contribution is going to make a significant difference to the treescape. Today, there are new challenges to face and urgent action is needed to defend trees against damage, disease and neglect, change urban and rural landscapes for the better and teach a new generation to value their trees. All this is being done against a backdrop of cuts to budgets everywhere. Since early October, The Tree Council has been briefing this army of enthusiasts on Chalara fraxinea (ash dieback) and making the latest updates from the Forestry Commission and Defra available. It has also been encouraging them to report suspected outbreaks and giving them guidance on how to advise people in their communities.
The Tree Council has launched an innovative scheme for individual giving that will channel funds to Tree Wardens in their local communities. Called Friends of The Tree Council, it is a donation scheme that has been developed with the volunteer Tree Wardens in mind. The unusual and appealing new element of this scheme is that anyone who gift aids their contribution may identify the area they would like to benefit from their donation. The entire gift aid element of the contribution will be put in a restricted fund that will put extra resources at the disposal of the local Tree Wardens so that they can raise awareness as well as buy trees, tools, equipment or any of the things they need to be effective. Through this simple mechanism, supporters will be able to make a difference locally as well as nationally.
At an event in the House of Lords to announce the new scheme, Lord Best – a Trustee of The Tree Council and the President of the Local Government Association – said “This is a groundbreaking move in individual giving. The Tree Council believes that neighbourhoods are enhanced and people are brought together by a concern for the environment and the Tree Wardens are at the forefront of both. To be able to support the co-ordination of this effort nationally and also make a contribution that has a local impact is something that we have not seen elsewhere. We hope that members of the public and concerned professionals will take up the opportunity with enthusiasm and that the benefits on offer to the Friends of The Tree Council will make the scheme doubly attractive.”
For more information about the Friends scheme, please click here.
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