Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and The Woodland Trust are supporting the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) ‘Roots of Remembrance’ initiative which sees trees planted in memory of those lost throughout the pandemic.
Many people have not been able to say a proper goodbye to loved ones, and so memorial trees can provide a physical place to remember, reflect and celebrate someone special for generations to come.
Individuals, community groups, businesses, local authorities and schools are invited to plant trees which will be added to a new Roots of Remembrance tree map.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Peter Johnston, said: “It's been wonderful to see more than 250 residents apply for their free tree to plant in their garden or in an open green space in memory of a loved one.
“This initiative will provide an activity where families or individuals can plant their tree and enjoy fresh air, physical exercise and nature.
"As well as providing a space for remembrance, these native trees will also support a wealth of wildlife, providing food for birds, bats, insects and small mammals as well as providing shelter for years to come.”
The trees provided are native species such as Oak, Cherry and Rowan.
MEA4Trees is an ambitious tree planting programme which will see 58,000 trees planted over the next few years – that’s one tree for every household in the borough.
Last winter 17,348 native trees were planted across Mid and East Antrim. We hope to match or surpass that number this year.
Council, alongside partners in the Woodland Trust, are excited to be working on a range of tree planting initiatives over the next few years.
The Mayor, Cllr Peter Johnston continued: "We are keen to hear from landowners, community groups, schools or if you have space for trees on your land, please get in touch to discuss options. If you have a site in mind and some willing volunteers, we may be able to provide the trees."
Trees are good for people and the environment. Trees can improve air quality by producing oxygen, storing carbon, moderating the effects of sun and wind, and clean the air by trapping dust, pollen and other pollutants.
Trees provide food and shelter for wildlife such as birds, squirrels and invertebrates, as well as for people. Trees have been proven to increase property value and to help relax people by lowering heart rates and reducing stress.
For more information and to map your tree, please visit the RHS website