Trees and nature conservation

From the ancient oaks of Sherwood Forest, to flocks of thousands of golden plover wintering on the wetlands of the Trent Valley, our district has a unique biodiversity.

The Council helps to protect and promote our wildlife in a number of ways, from planting trees to managing the areas parks and gardens.

This page contains help and advice on planting trees and gardening for wildlife. Find out more about protecting trees and hedgerows.

Planting for the future

We’re currently undertaking an ambitious tree planting programme - and we need your help.

In July 2019, we joined other local authorities across the country in declaring a climate emergency and in doing so, we’ve pledged to work towards developing measures to offset global warming. One of our actions is to increase the number of trees in the district, making our communities more attractive, greener and healthier places to live and work.

Trees are vital in the fight against climate change. They help by:

•    absorbing carbon dioxide

•    improving air quality

•    cooling the warming planet

•    fighting flooding

•    nurturing wildlife

•    making landscapes more resilient

Over the next five years, more than 10,000 trees will be planted across the district.

A new wood at Vicar Water Country Park has been created on the Vicardale site as part of this pledge.

Free trees for residents

The planting season does not start until November and therefore we will be in touch soon to let you know when your tree is available to be picked up.

The trees are called ‘whips’ which means they are small, newly grown trees and therefore very easy to plant. An information leaflet with planting and care instructions is provided to residents.

Free trees for parish councils, schools and community groups

Free tree packs are also available every spring for parish councils, schools and community groups. We choose trees with great wildlife value including hawthorn, blackthorn, grey willow, crab apple and rowan.

Check back for updates for the free tree giveaway for 2022.

Trees for Climate

Trees for Climate is a five-year woodland creation programme.

In Nottinghamshire the programme is delivered by Greenwood Community Forest and the Sherwood Forest Trust.

Are you a landowner, farmer or school with land suitable for planting trees?

The Trees for Climate programme offers flexible and competitive grants. It is versatile and can support schemes from 0.1ha up to full woodland creation of several hectares. Hedgerows with trees can be created to enhance connectivity and low-density planting, orchards and mixed woodlands are all acceptable.

Local experts can offer free support to plant, grow and manage your new woodland.

Why plant trees?

Creating new woodlands is a proven way to help tackle the effects of climate change.

Trees can enhance your land and business by:

  • Diversifying your business and generating income
  • Sheltering crops and livestock
  • Cutting pollution
  • Improving soil, water and air quality
  • Supporting pollinators
  • Providing habitats for wildlife
  • Reducing flooding, water flow and soil erosion
  • Providing fruits and nuts

The scheme offers:

  • A bespoke service that includes visiting you on site to talk though your project and assess your land.
  • A friendly local team with years of tree-planting experience, who will help to keep the process as simple as possible.
  • Funding available within the Newark and Sherwood district.  
  • Grants of up to 100% of the costs of tree-planting, including fencing, tree- guards, stakes etc.
  • A funded, ongoing maintenance plan for up to 15 years to ensure success.

Download the Trees for Climate Landowner Information Pack

Complete the Trees for Climate expression of interest form

Choosing and planting trees

It’s important to consider what you want from the trees you plant before you choose them. Planting is best done between October and April.

If you want your tree to be good for wildlife, native species are usually best. Trees which provide fruit and nuts are also good. And if you want your tree to look pretty, choose one which has flowers or colourful fruit or leaves.

Find out more about choosing trees for wildlife on the RSPB website.

Not all trees will be happy in your grounds, so you'll need to look at what type of trees grow well in your area. What are your grounds like? If the soil is hard or dry, then maybe trees from hotter countries might feel more at home such as a cherry. Some trees such as willow and alder thrive in wetter areas.

Find out about native British trees from the Woodland Trust.

Size and planting position is crucial and there is a tree for every situation including a planter on a patio, small garden, large garden, hedge or hillside. Small tress are usually cheaper than larger trees and take less time to establish

You also need to think about how tall and wide your tree will be when it's fully grown. Will the roots and branches damage any nearby buildings or paths? And think about whether falling leaves or fruit will cause an issue.

Find out more about choosing a tree in this video on the Royal Horticultural Society’s website.