Bradford Council’s major tree planting project A Tree for Every Child has come to an end and exceeded its target of 55,000 trees by getting almost 60,000 trees into schools, gardens and green spaces across the district.

A Tree for Every Child was launched in November 2020, to a national audience, as it featured on BBC 1’s Countryfile programme. It has been one of the council’s key climate action pledges with the aim of planting 55,000 trees – the equivalent of one per primary school child in the district.

The council invested £250,000 into the scheme and invited school and community groups to register an interest in taking part. The programme was supported by Trees for Cities which is funded by The Dulverton Trust, The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund and The Arbor Day Foundation, as well as The players of the Postcode Lottery.

Within a month of the invitation going out, over 40 schools said they wanted to be involved, either by having an orchard or native trees planted on their grounds, helping to plant new woodland sites or receiving trees for people to take away and plant at home. There were also a number of community planting days held over the last three years, the Queen’s Green Canopy project which saw thousands of trees planted to mark the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and trees given away at community events.

Vital support for the scheme came from Trees for Cities, Fruit Works Co-operative, Forest of Bradford (Bradford Environmental Action Trust), YORgreencic, Bradford Environment Education Service (BEES), Woodhouse Community Growers, town and parish councils and other community groups.

At the end of the project, which finished at the end of March 2023, the district is a much greener place where:

90 primary schools planted 11,607 native trees / hedges on their grounds

40 of these schools, plus one secondary, have new mini orchards (each school planting 7 trees and 7 fruit bushes)

43,897 trees were planted to create new woodlands and were dedicated to the Queen’s Green Canopy

4,000 trees were given to households for their gardens through schools and open events

100s of volunteers took part, including residents, faith groups, community organisations, local businesses, college and university students, youth service, museum staff, council staff, councillors, Queens Green Canopy Lieutenants and the Lord Mayor’s Office.

Plus 1000s of pupils, staff, families and school communities.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for Healthy People and Places, said: “I am so proud of what this project has achieved, not only in planting thousands of trees, but also in teaching thousands of children about climate action and the benefits of tree planting, as well as getting them involved, along with local communities in taking direct action. A Tree for Every Child has created a legacy for years to come. We are also so grateful to our partner organisations in this scheme who have worked through all weather conditions to hit and surpass our target. Thank you everyone who has been part of this.”