We're celebrating National Tree Week

At Essex Country Parks we're passionate about the environment, which is why we’re celebrating National Tree Week (Saturday 25 November to Sunday 3 December).

Posted on 21st November 2023

What is National Tree Week?

Launched in 1973, National Tree Week marks the start of the annual tree planting season – which takes place from November until the end of January – and aims to encourage people to plant a tree and appreciate the beauty and importance of trees to both our environment and quality of life.

Our country parks are Green Flag award-winners, the international accolade that recognises well managed parks throughout the country, which shows that our parks and green spaces meet the highest possible environmental standards.

Most of our parks - many of which are Grade II listed, RAMSAR and Sites of Special Scientific Interest due to the unique flora and fauna within them - feature ancient woodland and veteran trees.

Some of our veteran trees are over 500-years old and were planted during the time of Henry VIII. In fact, Britain has some the best veteran trees in north-west Europe and although these were once common, they are now precious and irreplaceable.

Our country parks are home to many different tree varieties - such as oak, hornbeam, and beech to name a few - but all of them, whatever their age, are vital to the local ecosystem and our quality of life.

Why plant trees?

Trees are incredibly important to our environment. Increasing green infrastructure and planting more trees across the county have a vital role in combating climate change and mitigating the effects of carbon emissions.

Planting a greater number of trees also helps to absorb carbon in the atmosphere, as well as improve air quality and encourage new habitats and biodiversity. More green space also helps to support our health and wellbeing.

Essex Forest Initiative

You can also help make a difference by volunteering within an award-winning Essex Country Park or with Essex County Council’s award-winning Essex Forest Initiative.

The Essex Forest Initiative is committed to planting over £1 million worth of trees over five years - the equivalent of 375,000 trees - and since launching in 2019 they’ve planted 240,000 trees thanks to help of employees and volunteers.

Now you can help too by planting a tree with the EFI in various locations throughout the county either at Ardleigh, Basildon, Colchester Hatfield, Kelvedon, Loughton and Maldon.

You can find out more information about the planting dates and sign up to volunteer from the form here. If you have any questions about the Essex Forest Initiative, email environment@essex.gov.uk.

You can also volunteer at the Essex Country Parks. To find out more check details in the activity tab on the individual place pages.