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Parent embrace tree for life scheme

Parents pick up their trees in Wattisfield
Parents pick up their trees in Wattisfield

More than 170 families in Mid Suffolk took up the opportunity to plant a tree to celebrate the arrival of a new child in 2018.

In total, 179 families successfully applied for a tree to celebrate their new arrival under Mid Suffolk District Council’s Tree for Life scheme.

This represents approximately 21 percent of the estimated births in the district during 2018, ahead of the uptake seen in the first year of similar schemes run across the country.

Successful applicants during the 2018 pilot scheme collected their trees from Sandy Lane Nursery in Wattisfield across two Saturdays in early January, this year.

Each family was given the choice of a pear, apple, plum or fig tree, or a flowering cherry tree.

The Tree for Life scheme offers every family in Mid Suffolk celebrating a new child, by birth or adoption, a free tree to plant to mark the occasion. It was originally proposed by the Green Party group on Mid Suffolk District Council and is now running again throughout 2019.

Cllr David Burn, Mid Suffolk’s cabinet member for environment, said: “The wonderful response to this pilot scheme has greatly exceeded our expectations. To be celebrating in this way the arrival of more than one in five new babies in our district is outstanding.

“Like the new life they symbolise, these trees will settle in and begin to flourish over the coming years.”

Cllr Andrew Stringer, Green Party councillor for Mendlesham, said: “This just goes to prove that smaller political groups can get their ideas implemented. What a great example of different political groups working together.”

Applications can now be made for new arrivals in 2019, and by any families who missed the opportunity to apply in 2018, at www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/environment/tree-for-life/

A selection of trees is available, including fig trees small enough to be pot grown for those who may not have a garden.

Applicants can also ask Mid Suffolk officers about alternative locations to plant their tree if needed.

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