When we enjoy the company of a treasured tree or the beauty of a favourite wood we often owe thanks to those with the foresight and confidence to invest in the future. We must show that same generosity of spirit, that same sense of hope for the future, and plant more now. Line streets with living greenery, let trees allow shifting colour into every life. More orchards for communities, more hedges for wildlife, more forests for timber and jobs. Nurture people’s pride in their local trees and empower them to care for their future. Right tree, right place, bright future.
"I love the thought of my grandchildren and their children climbing a tree I planted. No doubt we all want to leave the world a slightly better place than we found it. Planting trees is one way of making a contribution."
John Humphrys, journalist and presenter
"If we can deliver a step change in planting, England’s environment, economy and society will all benefit. We have to make it easier to plant trees. It’s about planting the right tree in the right place but above all, planting more trees of whatever type."
Beccy Speight, Former CEO, Woodland Trust
"When I was 11 I planted an acorn in my front garden which over the years grew into a beautiful tree. No matter how old I got, I would stand beneath my tree and lose myself in the leaves marveling at the amount of life it supported. There were bugs, birds, lichen and even a squirrel’s dray at one point; I had a whole ecosystem on my own doorstep! I’m now 52 and have moved away from my childhood home, but my lovely oak tree is still never far from my thoughts."
"Trees are our history, our oxygen and nature’s best habitat. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing trees you have planted transform the landscape and bring in the wildlife."
"I spent a lot of time in woodland with my granddad growing up. He taught me a lot, particularly that nature wasn’t something to be controlled but could be helped along, if required. A couple of years after he passed away, I collected a few acorns and planted them in pots. One grew particularly well after I left home for university, my mum planted it on the edge of some woodland near our home. I like to think that it will grow for hundreds of years and serve as a living tribute to someone who taught me so much. I think he’d be pretty pleased with that…"
Image: Emily Fitton
"I am 97 later this year and cannot imagine not having trees around me. My earliest memory is the bluebells under the beech trees of Buckinghamshire. Now I am in Scotland where the trees are more spruce and pine. Over the years I have had pleasure from growing trees from acorns chestnuts and beech nuts. Keep up the good work, trees are important for so many reasons."
"The smell of damp earth with dead leaves turning into a dark, crumbly surface and insects busy helping it along, makes you want to run your hands through it to help it on its way - spreading new energy and growth."
Image: Karen Williams
"Do something meaningful this weekend, go buy a tree and plant it! It’s not expensive or hard to do, try doing something positive for our future generations and stop yapping on twitter and facebook about another country's president! It’s not important, trees are. Without them we will have no atmosphere and we will cease to be. Go on and plant one whenever you can, you will feel great for doing so. For everyone’s sake please have a go and find happiness!"
"As I live in a very urban built up ex mining town trees aren’t so plentiful. But every one that is there makes such a difference to my everyday life."
Image: Derek Ward