NewsTree Wardensupdate on covid

Last updated: 27/11/2020

England is due to leave lockdown on Thursday 3 December and re-enter an updated regional ‘tier’ system. Lockdown measures are in place until just after midnight on Wednesday 2 December. From 3-6 December (the remaining days of National Tree Week) and beyond, the tier system will be in place.

With only three areas currently in Tier 1 (Cornwall, Isle of Wight, Isle of Scilly), Tier 2 (High) and Tier 3 (Very High) measures will most likely apply to planting events. This means groups of a maximum of six people are permitted to meet outside with social distancing, face coverings and other measures in place. Read the latest guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Until 3 December, Tree Wardens, volunteers and members of the public are reminded to observe all government restrictions, which will be enforceable by law. This includes:

  • Staying at home unless necessary. The government have listed specific reasons why people might leave the house. While volunteering is mentioned, this most likely relates to community volunteering to address the impacts of Covid, which means tree planting events would not qualify
  • No outdoor gatherings of more than two people
  • No travel on public transport unless necessary

We know some groups may choose to organise small, local planting events between 3-6 December, or later, with the new restrictions in place. Measures to ensure they are applied might include:

  • keeping numbers of attendees to six or less
  • wearing face coverings
  • maintaining social distancing at all times
  • not meeting indoors or sharing vehicles
  • bringing own water or other refreshments
  • using anti-viral hand gel and proper hand washing
  • keeping exchange of tools from hand to hand to an absolute minimum, using anti-viral wipes in between

All Tree Wardens and community groups must observe all government guidance and exercise as much caution as possible. Your health and safety is the most important factor, and planting events can be rescheduled in early 2021 if it is safe to do so. Please take care of yourselves and others, and for more advice read our guidance for covid-aware tree planting events.

National and regional restrictions outside England

Wales are not in lockdown but are being encouraged to minimise their activity, while Scotland is divided into different ‘protection levels’. Northern Ireland started a two-week circuit-breaker on Friday 20 November. Tree Wardens, volunteers and members of the public in countries other than England are reminded to follow the restrictions in their country and/or region.

Join us online for our programme of free arts and culture events

While we are all disappointed not to be able to get together and plant trees during National Tree Week as we usually would, trees still have a remarkable ability to bring us together.

The Tree Council are running a week-long programme of fantastic free arts and culture events online, inspired by trees. Special guests include Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring), Cumbrian Shepherd James Rebanks, Sam Lee (Singing with Nightingales), William Boyd (Trio – just published) and Bake Off star Rowan Williams. Bookings will open over the next week. Through trees, we remain #TreelyConnected. We hope to see many of you there!

Take care and stay safe,

Team Tree Council

#TreelyConnected #NationalTreeWeek