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Tree-planting opportunity for Public Sector organisations in England and Scotland grows – as school orchards supported in 2023

Public Sector organisations are set to get a boost to green canopy coverage this year, after new school orchards were supported to help wildlife and wellbeing – amongst other action by water retailer Water Plus.

The 5 times Green Apple Environment Award winner and the UK’s largest water retailer Water Plus is supporting new fruiting hedgerows, working with The Tree Council, a charity that’ll provide the orchard packs and educational material to four schools in 2023 – so pupils can plant and care for them.

The 20 metres of new hedgerows are part of The Tree Council’s Orchards for Schools project and will be planted ahead of the end of March 2023. The Tree Council said the hedgerows would help the environment, shelter wildlife and help wellbeing.

In separate work – and amongst other activity by Water Plus – suggestions for sites where more native UK trees will thrive in 2023 can be made, including near public sector buildings in England and Scotland.

The importance of water efficiency and how it can help with energy costs at sites is also being highlighted in the #BeWiseOnWater awareness campaign by Water Plus.

Organisations can email hello@water-plus.co.uk with details of public sector sites that could accommodate trees, which will be distributed in packs of 10 saplings.

Barry McGovaney, Sustainability Lead and Innovation and Technology Manager at Water Plus, said: “We’re committed to making sustainability and minimising our environmental impact core to our business, our people and our customers. From helping sites install water reduction approaches and extra tracking along with highlighting how water efficiency helps organisations, to increasing tree-planting in the UK and exploring and encouraging innovative approaches to cut water impacts and carbon emissions to help towards sustainability goals, we’re taking action.

“We value the natural environment and natural resources and know the importance of trees to not only help manage surface water, amongst other benefits they bring, and also support natural habitats and the eco-system. We’re delivering on our commitment to the planet through the technical water services we provide, along with raising awareness around water waste and savings from efficiencies – whether it’s a small, or large, organisation.”

Suggestions for tree sites can also be sent by private message to Water Plus on their social media channels including LinkedIn and Twitter. Brief details on how planting would benefit the area should be included in emails, which should have the subject heading #NominateforTrees. Water Plus will review all suggestions.

Water Plus increased tree-planting in the UK by providing 150 trees for schools and communities in 2020 and creating 2,023 square metres of woodland in the UK in 2021. The water retailer also partnered with Stoke-on-Trent City Council to start putting 50 more trees in the ground in December 2021, including fruit trees for communities – which were also planted in 2022.

Water Plus was presented with four International Green Apple Environment Awards, including Gold for water management, in November 2022 for its work with its customers to increase water efficiency and raise awareness around cutting water waste. It follows the water retailer winning two National Sustainability awards in 2022, including Water Reduction, and a Green Apple Environment Award in 2021.

More on steps organisations can take to reduce water waste, reduce future running costs and lower Greenhouse Gas emissions under Scopes 1, 2 and 3, can be found on the Future Net Zero website at: www.futurenetzero.com/category/water-plus-thought-leadership/ .

Tree-planting site suggestion information

*Water Plus will review all suggestions submitted by email to hello@water-plus.co.uk and through social media through messages on the Water Plus social media channels and consider how the sites might be suitable and involved in tree-planting. Suggestions for sites (on social media or be email to hello@water-plus.co.uk) does not guarantee trees would be planted. Public Sector organisations will need to confirm areas are suitable for planting trees, as part of suggestions.

Sites chosen would receive trees from February 2023, or September 2023, depending on when suggestions are made and reviewed – in time for the planting seasons, including the one that runs to March 2024.

Trees provided would be native broad leaf varieties (excluding Ash, due to Ash dieback). Although the trees wouldn’t be able to be used for offsetting carbon emissions, they would create more natural habitats in the grounds of sites and increase green canopy and shade for people using public sector sites during the warmer weather in the future. Trees can be planted around 1 metre apart, or closer to form hedging/hedges. Photos of the planted trees at a location would need to be provided to Water Plus for external use across their channels.

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