How to help

Help plant trees in Strangford & Lecale

Free trees for biodiversity – Communities invited to spruce up the landscape, with the gift of free trees

Schools, youth groups, community groups and landowners are invited to tackle Northern Ireland’s lack of woodland cover by getting their hands dirty and planting thousands of trees.

Children and adults throughout the country are invited to make their mark this February by planting 10,000 trees as part of a Ring of Gullion and Strangford and Lecale AONB tree planting scheme. Free tree packs are now available for planting this planting season.

While everyone’s reasons for planting are individual, the benefits are lasting and shared. Trees enhance the landscape, improve the air we breathe, provide homes for wildlife, and can provide sustainable fuel. And yet Northern Ireland lags way behind the rest of Europe when it comes to tree numbers.

Our AONBs have just about 8 per cent woodland cover, compared to the European average of 44 per cent. So, what are you waiting for get in touch to grab your free trees!

There is one collection period, and it will be week commencing 21st February. Trees must be planted as soon as you get them to ensure a high survival rate. There will be one pick up point in the Ring of Gullion and one pick up point in Strangford and Lecale AONB, when you make your application you will receive an email with the details of collection.

Before you apply you’ll need to:

  • Know the six digit grid reference for the land you wish to plant using the grid reference finder
  • Have permission from the legal landowner
  • Email confirming the above and your name, mobile number, and what you want from the following, with a maximum of 500 per order/grid ref – Hawthorn, Oak, Rowan, Alder, Hazel, Silver Birch
  • This scheme runs on a first come first serve basis. If you are not available to collect your tree packs on the given date and time they may be reallocated. We will endeavour to allocate your chosen trees, but this cannot always happen, but we will try to match it with a similar species.
  • Lots of information about trees is available in this guide book, “Our trees; A guide to growing Ireland’s native trees”.
  • Watch this video on how to plant your trees when you get them –
  • Edit **Applications now closed! Due to a fantastic response to this initiative, all the trees have now been allocated and no further applications can be accepted as of Wednesday 9th February 10am.