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Would You Like to Help Create a Forest?

Friday, 2nd October 2015

Acorns in The National Forest

The National Forest invites everyone to collect acorns this autumn and be part of the biggest, boldest environmental project in the country: Grow a Tree from Seed for The National Forest!

The National Forest, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2016, is the first forest to be planted in England for one thousand years. Over eight and a half million trees have been planted since the early 1990s, with many more to go. You can be part of this amazing story, providing habitats for wildlife, beautiful woodlands for people to walk through and enjoy, shelter and shade for birds and animals.

Trees are one of the planet’s greatest assets, providing natural flood prevention, storing carbon and cleaning the air.

The National Forest Company (NFC) runs its Grow a Tree from Seed scheme to inspire people to want to be part of The National Forest. Individuals and families can collect acorns when they are out and about on an autumn walk, plant them up in a pot, register how many they are growing, and, in about two years’ time, receive an invitation to come and plant them in The National Forest.

“The scheme is very simple,” explained Sue Anderson, Community Liaison Officer for the NFC. “We ask people to collect acorns – the oak is an iconic English tree and is a species we will always plant in The National Forest. Acorns will soon be falling from the trees and are easy to collect on the ground. Gather a handful, take them home and plant them up according to the instructions on our website, (or in a leaflet available from us).”

Sue continued: “We ask you to register the number of trees you are planting, and send us a few details, so that we know how many trees to expect in any particular year – and so that we can send you an invitation to the relevant planting event at the right time. Everyone brings their trees, all manner of shapes and sizes, and we all have a great time together planting them in the Forest.”

It’s a scheme that has been running for many years, and has some long-standing supporters.  Terry McGuire and his family from Coventry have been sowing acorns in pots and planting them out in The National Forest through this scheme for ten years.

“I’ve watched the development of The National Forest from the very beginnings. It’s a thrilling thing to do, to plant a forest using the old brownfield sites and on the old pits and open cast mines. We needed a large green lung in the Midlands,” said Terry.

At the most recent event earlier this year, Terry was presented with a certificate to mark his ten years involvement with Grow a Tree from Seed. He said: “My family and I really enjoyed the whole day out. Forest, family, food and fun: it all made it special for us, and the addition of my little great granddaughter attending as well completed the whole experience.”

The National Forest spans 200 square miles of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. When the Forest began, woodland cover was just 6%; this year it reached 20%, more than three times the original figure.

Find out more about Grow a Tree from Seed in The National Forest at  For more information email