Apply now, be a #ForceforNature

Apply now to deliver an inspiring Young Tree Champion project in your school. Select an exciting package of free training and resources including tree packs and tech kits to help you deliver your project.

For advice and guidance, download our project Application Guidance.

Tree Council Young Tree Champions

Watch: Let’s Get Planning Webinar.

This webinar covers all the basics you’ll need to know to start planning your own Young Tree Champions project, including:

  • Defining the goal of the Young Tree Champions.
  • The benefits to pupils, teachers and the school.
  • Project club accounts, Young Tree Champion recruitment and your online club space.
  • Working through the steps to planning your project, offering top secret tips! to help you secure up to £1500 of support and resources.
Download the accompanying presentation here

Free tree pack and tech kit

Through the support of M&G plc, we are offering a suite of Speakers Trust training opportunities, beautiful tree packs and a tech kit to help your Young Tree Champions deliver their exciting project and be a #ForceForNature.

Helpful project application tools

Make a great start by reading our Project Application Guidance. Use our Questionnaire template, to help you and your Young Tree Champions define what matters most to them. Once you’ve agreed what matters most, use our Action Plan Template to plan your project before completing the project application form.

The deadline for project applications is 7 March 2021.

Project Application Form

Before you start this application, you should have a clear plan for your project. Our application guidance will provide all the information and advice you need, also read our FAQs. Don’t forget to save as you go. When you’ve completed your application form, we will automatically set you up with a club account.

Frequently asked questions

Can my school be involved in the YTC programme without ordering trees?

Yes – we will provide plenty of other resources and ways for your Young Tree Champions to connect, learn and share the power of trees.

Do I need to recruit my Young Tree Champions, to help to complete the application form?

It would be useful to have recruited your Young Tree Champions, as your students will have great ideas for what you might do and any themes you may wish to focus on as a group, they are the projects driving force for nature. However, given the current pandemic we suggest the following:

  • Engage with key work children in-school or remotely with existing eco-club, student council, afterschool club and put this project on the agenda
  • Use this Young Tree Champion questionnaire to help decide what matters most to your young tree champions and select a tree theme
  • Discuss ideas for your activities to connect, learn and share your project, and fill in the action plan template, you can then use this to complete the application form

Do I need landowner permission to plant my trees?

Yes, this is really important – please make sure you have written permission from the landowner for the proposed location to plant the trees before completing the application form. It may be worth checking your school improvement plan for any new proposed developments onsite.

How big will the trees become and how much space will they need to thrive?

The trees have been carefully selected according to their size when mature. You have a choice of tree packs – small, medium and large trees.

  • Small trees will grow to 5-10m and need to be planted 3-5m apart
  • Medium trees will grow to 10-15m and need to be planted 5 to 8m apart
  • Large trees will grow over 15m and need to be 15m apart

Please note: It is not possible to select specific species from the list to create a bespoke pack.

 Plant your trees where they can receive lots of sunlight and where the drainage is good. Also consider a location that is accessible to all and allows you to water your young trees and saplings regularly and easily in the first 2-3 years (near an outdoor tap).

What exactly does a tree pack contain?

Each tree pack consists of five mixed trees. The trees will be between 1 and 2 years old (approx. 1 – 1.5m tall) and will arrive ‘bare-rooted’ ready for immediately planting out. Your pack will include stakes, wire guards and hessian ties to support the tree for the first 2-3 years of its life. We will send you full instructions of how to plant and care for your trees nearer the time.

You can select one of the following tree packs, each containing five trees:

  1. Small
  2. Mix of small + medium
  3. Medium
  4. Mix of medium + large
  5. Large

Your choice will be based on the area you have available to plant your trees.

The trees are perfect for creating a tree trail but you may wish to use them in other ways to support the delivery of your project – for example, to create a wildlife-friendly area or woodland classroom to support your project.

Our school doesn’t have any green space – can we plant the trees in pots?

Our selection of small trees will grow to between 5 – 10m tall and need to be planted between 3-5m apart. If you do not have any bare ground within your school grounds, you can consider planting them in large planters. We can provide detailed instructions on the appropriate planter size. The species include holly, hawthorn, crab apple, flowering cherries and rowan.

It’s important to bear in mind that trees in planters will need extra care, especially with watering.

How do we keep our trees alive and healthy in the longer term?

When your tree packs arrive, you will need get them into the ground straight away and give them a good water – they’ll be thirsty from their journey! Make sure you use the stakes, ties and guards to help protect your young trees from rabbits and strong winds. You will be provided with detailed instructions on how to plant and care for your trees.

Your Young Tree Champions will need to water the newly-planted trees for a year or two, especially when the weather is dry and during the Easter and Summer holidays. Consider consulting a local volunteer Tree Warden to help provide advice and expertise on caring for your trees.

How much time will my Young Tree Champion project take to deliver?

This project can be as big as you want to make it! We estimate typically a lead teacher will need to allocate 4 to 6 days throughout the spring and summer term to deliver the project from application to completion, this depends upon the amount of support they receive.

It’s important that senior management allocate time to an enthusiastic member of staff to lead the project (LSA, Teacher). The lead contact will need to complete the application process, recruit the Young Tree Champions and make sure there is a plan of activities in place to plant, connect, learn and share the power of trees and care for your trees.

Compared to growing annual plants like tomatoes and salads, your trees will require much less annual care once the trees are established. However there is more to do in the first few years in order to get them established; they’ll need to be watered regularly, weeded and guarded for the first three years.

What do the tech kits contain?

Young Tree Champion tech kits provide your young people with amazing resources with which to interact with the world of trees. The kit is designed to help you create an interactive trail, explore the science and wonder of your new or existing trees on your grounds and record a podcast to speak up for trees.

The kit consists of:

  • One pair of headphones with an attached microphone
  • A hand-held microscope camera
  • Google cardboard VR headset
  • Info sheet with a series of app recommendationsto help you develop your trail

When will I receive my tree pack and/or tech kit?

Deliveries will take place on 24 and 25 March 2021 (0ption for delivery w/c 19 April).

What is a public speaking workshop led by Speakers Trust?

A public speaking workshop led by Speakers Trust involves a teacher training workshop and a pupil workshop. Due to current restrictions, the workshops will take place online.

  • Teacher training workshops are designed to inspire teachers to develop oracy within the curriculum and will include breakout sessions to facilitate questions. The session also helps to prepare teachers for their day of pupil workshops, which are to be delivered between April and June.
  • Pupil workshops comprise two 2-hour sessions engaging the pupils in vocalising their personal journey to becoming a Force for Nature. These sessions can be delivered to a club group or whole class (up to 32 pupils). Speakers Trust will contact schools directly to arrange timings and to tailor the sessions.

When will the public speaking workshops led by Speakers Trust take place?

The Teacher Training Workshops are on set dates – 3:30pm-5pm on 17 or 18 March 2021. The pupil workshops will be arranged with the selected school after this date.

What is a 'Beacon' School?

Beacon Schools are determined once you have successfully completed your project and submitted a project self-assessment form. To achieve Beacon School status your schools needs to demonstrate in your self-assessment and posts on your club space that you are excelling in connecting, learning and sharing the power of trees and nature both in school and at a national level (by being active on your club account). Beacon Schools will be invited to attend and be awarded at the Force for Nature festival in July 2021.

Useful Resources

Important information

You may want to download and save these documents for your reference.

Thank you to our programme partner M&G plc

The Tree Council are working in partnership with M&G plc, the savings and investment company that truly understands the value of trees to fighting climate change. By inspiring young people to become young tree champions, we hope to help create a healthier future, for the environment and each other. We are incredibly grateful to M&G plc for their fantastic support which will enable us to reach some of the most underserved communities in Britain and inspire them to be a #ForceForNature