Emergency Tree Fund

Devon County Council can support a range of tree planting initiatives thanks to funding from the Woodland Trust, through its Emergency Tree Fund. Most recently DCC have been successful in securing funding from the Forestry Commission, to adminster a ‘Local Authority Treescapes Fund’ Project. This new project will effectively act as an extension of DCC’s ETF offer.

  • What support is available?

    Support for town and parish councils 

    Since the beginning of the project in 2021, we have been working with a small number of town and parish councils to support tree planting on their land holdings. This has been in response to the Woodland Trust’s ‘Big Climate Fightback’ and the widely acknowledged ‘Devon Climate Emergency’. We would like to continue to promote schemes for the forthcoming planting season as demonstrations of what other councils can achieve going forward.

    If you are aware of any opportunties to plant on town or parish council-owned land, or you would like help funding a local tree planting project, please send an email to elliott.saloman-c@devon.gov.uk. If DCC cannot fund a project, alternatively, we can signpost to our Devon-based partner organisations.

    Support for partner organisations 

    We have so far supported projects by Mid Devon, South Hams and East Devon District Councils to create, restore and expand woodland habitat. Next planting season (2024/25) there might be scope to work with other district councils and potential partner organisations with ambitions to increase woodland cover on their land holdings in Devon; please contact elliott.saloman-c@devon.gov.uk to check the position.

    Support for private landowners 

    In 2021, landowners across Devon were offered free tree packs to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and to support The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative. In total, 70 tree packs were delivered, each consisting of a mix of 45 native trees; the locations of where these were delivered to are illustrated in the image below.

    In 2021 the Free Tree Scheme supported the planting of 3150 trees (approximately 2 ha total). We have since endeavoured to offer a Free Tree Scheme every season and the ETF has now funded three consequtive Free Tree Schemes. Applications are closed for this year, but if you’re interested in applying for a free tree pack next September (2024), please come back to this page and refer to the ‘Free Tree Scheme’ tab below.

  • Sources of Funding & Resources for Tree Planting

    Sources of Funding & Resources for Tree Planting

    There are currently lots of different types of funding and resources for tree planting in Devon, for more information head over to the table on the Devon LNP website: Sources of Funding & Resources For Tree Planting in Devon

    We understand that sometimes it can be hard to know which source of funding is best for your project. To help you identify the right source of funding, it is useful to understand the scale of your project.

    If you’re looking at individual trees, or perhaps enough trees to establish a small copse, we would recommend seeking support from The Wildlife Trust’s ‘Saving Devon’s Treescapes Project’. Head over to their website to find out more: Get involved with the Saving Devon’s Treescapes Project – Landowners | Devon Wildlife Trust.

    If you’re looking to carry out more significant planting (at least a few hundred trees) then we recommend that you get in touch with the Emergency Tree Fund team. Generally the ETF is suited to planting on public land. If you have a scheme in mind, The ETF team can be reached through direct contact with Elliott Saloman-Carter (elliott.saloman-c@devon.gov.uk) or through contact with DCC’s Natural Environment Team mailbox: naturalenvironment-mailbox@devon.gov.uk

    Although the Emergency Tree Fund might be able to support schemes up to a hectare, generally speaking, if a scheme is looking for at least 1000 trees it would be best suited to The Woodland Trust’s MOREWoods scheme. This scheme can also support tree planting on private land. Head over to the website to find out more information and apply: Plant Trees on Your Land with MOREwoods – Woodland Trust.

  • Press Releases
  • Photos


    Free Tree Scheme 2021/22

    Child planting a tree

    Middle Winsham (DCC County Farm Estate)

    Follaton Arboretum (South Hams)

    Free Tree Scheme 2022/23

  • 'Right Place, Right Tree' Guidance

    If you’re thinking about tree planting it’s important you understand how to choose the right place and the right tree. We highly recommend that you follow the ‘Right Place Right Tree’ guidance, available on the LNP website: Right Place Right Tree – Devon Local Nature Partnership (devonlnp.org.uk)

  • Free Tree Scheme 2023/2024 (apply here)

    Free Tree Scheme 2023/2024


    This year, Devon County Council are offering free tree packs to landowners and communities within Devon, for the fifth consecutive year. Each free tree pack will contain 45 trees comprising three types of native broadleaved tree commonly found throughout Devon.

    There are currently plenty of schemes and initiatives encouraging landowners and communities within Devon to plant native broadleaved trees. Doing so will help replace the vast number of ash trees that are now dying through ash dieback, as well as supporting wildlife, enhancing our landscapes for people to enjoy, and helping to reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

    Last year, Devon County Council gave away 150 packs of free trees to landowners across Devon, thanks to the Emergency Tree Fund.

    Are you eligible?

    If you have a field corner or another area where you would like to establish a small copse, linear woodland or extend an existing woodland, you can apply for a free tree pack. In previous years free packs of 45 saplings containing oak, birch and rowan trees have been supplied to eligible landowners. To give trees enough space to develop a good crown and grow to maturity, we advise planting at 3m random spacings, which requires an area of approximately 400m sq. (e.g. 20m x 20m) for 45 trees.

    The following conditions apply: 

    1. The tree planting location (or locations) must be suitable in terms of size and location in the landscape. To give trees enough space to develop a good crown and grow to maturity, we advise planting at 3m random spacings, which requires an area of approximately 400m sq. (e.g. 20m x 20m).
    2. Planting must take place within the first week of the tree pack arriving. If this isn’t possible, you must ‘heel in’ the trees at a temporary location, until you can plant the trees at the agreed location (the planting must be carried out by the end of March 2024 at the very latest).
    3. A person (landowner or their appointee) must be named as responsible for planting and maintaining the trees according to the instructions, so that after 5 years the trees are well established and growing healthily.
    4. The person (landowner or their appointee) must be named as responsible for ensuring that the planting does not impact any underground services or overhead cables. Please ensure you are aware of and comply with any guidelines provided by the relevant utility company before implementing your planting scheme. Remember to consider the likely height and spread of the tree once mature.
    5. You must read the planting leaflet provided and you must follow the planting instructions. This includes ensuring that the planting will not disturb buried archaeology; please consult the Devon County Council Environment Viewer if you are unsure. For more information, please visit Step 3: Check for potential sensitivities – Devon Local Nature Partnership (devonlnp.org.uk).
    6. We require a photograph of the planted trees as evidence of completion. If not provided to us by the end of May 2024, we may wish to access the planting site to check and record (through a photograph) that the planting has been carried out. Arrangements for such a visit will be agreed in advance with the landowner.

    How to make an application:

    To apply, please complete our online form by 27th of September 2023. This is the deadline that would enable tree packs to be delivered in time for you to plant in National Tree Week (25th of November – 3rd of December). Applications after this date would be subject to availability. You will be notified if you have been successful before the end of October 2023 and your tree pack will be dispatched to you on a date confirmed by the tree nursery we appoint.

    If you are interested in the scheme, please do not delay applying. In previous years, the scheme has been extremely popular and highly oversubscribed.

    GDPR Statement: Please read our GDPR Privacy Notice. By applying for a free tree pack, you will be confirming your consent for Devon County Council to hold your data and share it with the tree suppliers for the purpose of arranging delivery of trees. 

  • Register your interest in tree planting

    If you’re interested in tree planting, it may be useful for you to register your interest via our online form. The purpose of this form is to identify potential landowners/organisations based in Devon that are interested in tree planting. Using this form, Devon County Council will be able to signpost applicants to funding options when they are made available.

    GDPR Statement: Please read our GDPR Privacy Notice. By registering your interest, you will need to provide your consent for Devon County Council to hold your data and share it with relevant partners.

  • Case Studies

    Newton Poppleford & Harpford Parish Council Case Study

    • Early in 2022, Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council’s ‘Climate Change group’ reached out to DCC, and explained that they had carried out a survey within their local area, assessing the potential for tree planting
    • The parish initially asked to plant 88 trees, across many different locations
    • We eventually arranged a site visit with the parish, and they demonstrated exactly where they wanted to plant trees and explained the reasoning behind it (i.e. why a particular species was selected for a specific area)
    • The parish initially wanted to plant just standard trees. After highlighting the potential to incorporate trees in hedgerows and field corners, the parish soon came to realise there was a lot of potential for whip planting.

    • Throughout 2022, we developed planting plans for several sites – our main approach to planting that season was community planting. We believed that Newton Poppleford and Harpford would be a great place to implement this as it was clear there was a lot interest in planting from the local community already.
    • We procured community interest company ‘Parklife South West’ and arranged that they use their expertise to refine the planting plans that we had already developed with the parish.
    • In the end, over 1368 trees were planted (1325 whips and 43 standards) at five sites, throughout the end of January 2023 to the start of February 2023
    • The project engaged several community and volunteer groups from a range of organisations. For example, volunteers attended from the local school on one day, Bicton College on another and RSPB also provided volunteers for one of the planting events.
    • Many locals from the community took action – on some planting days there were over 50 volunteers in attendance.
    • The species selected were a mix of native trees including Birch, Whitebeam, Hornbeam, Cherry, Rowan, Hawthorn, Crabapple, Field Maple and Lime
    • The standards were provided by Crowders. These were half-standards, but in this instance, they were exceptionally large and of very good quality.
    • Over 1,000 hedging whips from Moor Trees were used to create 180m of hedging which will provide so many new places for birds and insects to nest and thrive
    • Locals also provided homemade confectionaries on volunteer days
    • All of the planting was added to the Queen’s Green Canopy website
    Volunteer group Number of volunteers
    Newton Poppleford & Harpford Climate Change Group 7
    Local residents 40
    RSPB 10
    Bicton College 9
    Newton Poppleford Primary School 24
    • This project is a fantastic example of what can be done when people seek the right guidance and the right funding.
    • Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Councl would not have been able to receive the same level of support from other grant sources.
    • This is a great example of where the Emergency Tree Fund was able to develop an idea and develop it into something bigger, better, and practically deliverable.
    • The level of community support was fantastic, and it was a direct result of the enthusiasm and passion of the parish – the ETF was just the catalyst!
  • Privacy Notice


    Privacy Notice – Emergency Tree Fund

    Devon County Council (DCC) is collecting and or processing your personal data as a Data Controller under Data Protection Legislation and our ICO registration number is Z6475582.  This privacy notice concerns the processing of personal data that takes place by DCC’s Natural Environment Team.

    This notice explains what information we collect, why we collect it and how we keep it secure. It also explains your rights and our legal obligation. Should you wish to find out more about Devon County Council’s data protection policies please contact our Data Protection Officer.

    We will notify you of any changes to this privacy notice

    This privacy notice was last updated 27th October 2022. If we use your personal data for any new purposes, updates will be made to the policy information and changes communicated, where necessary in accordance with current data protection legislation.  Any queries relating to this privacy notice please contact the Data Protection Officer.

    What information are we processing?

    We may collect, store or otherwise process information about you which may include:

    • Your name
    • Your email address

    Purpose of collecting or processing your personal data

    DCC may need to collect or otherwise process your personal data personal data so that we can;

    • Notify you of events relating to the Emergency Tree Fund

    The legal basis for us collecting your personal data

    Where we are collecting personal data about you for the provision of one of the purposes outlined in this privacy notice, we rely upon your consent for this purpose.  You may withdraw your consent at any time by emailing us at ‘naturalenvironment-mailbox@devon.gov.uk’.

    Personal data that is collected for any of the purposes outlined in this notice is never used for direct marketing purposes and is not sold on to any other third parties.

    Recipients or categories of recipients that we may share your personal data with

    When processing your personal data, it may be necessary for us to share personal data with third-party organisations such as;

    • The Woodland Trust
    • ParkLife SW

    If we feel that it is necessary to share your personal data with professionals to ensure you or someone you work with is safeguarded from harm, we rely upon the provisions of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and Children Act 1989 & 2004.  Where it is necessary to share medical or social care information for these purposes, we rely upon article 9(2)(h) of the General Data Protection Regulation (information necessary for medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems).

    We may also need to share some personal data about you, so that we can support third party organisations to discharge their regulatory requirements.  This includes organisations such as;

    • The data protection regulator (the Information Commissioner’s Office)
    • The Care Quality Commission

    We may also share information to enable us to comply with court orders and other legal obligations.  If this is necessary, we will only share the minimum amount of personal data needed for this purpose.

    International transfers

    No personal data is transferred outside of the European Union.

    How long will we hold your personal data?

    Devon County Council will retain your personal data for the length of the Emergency Tree Fund project – 3 years.

    Your data protection rights

    Under Data Protection Legislation, you have the right to obtain a copy of their personal records held by us, this is called a Subject Access Request (SAR).

    Details of how to make a request can be found here.

    Further details on your rights under data protection legislation and how to exercise them, are available here.

    We are required to offer you the opportunity to withdraw your consent at any time. If you wish to withdraw your consent, please contact ‘naturalenvironment-mailbox@devon.gov.uk’.


    If you have any comments, queries or complaints about this privacy notice or the processing of your personal data please contact our Data Protection Officer.

    Alternatively, if you are not happy with the way that DCC is handling your personal data, you are entitled to appeal to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). The Information Commissioners Office enforces and oversees the Data Protection Regulations.

    Contact details are below:

    Information Commissioner’s Office
    Wycliffe House
    Water Lane
    SK9 5AF

    Email: casework@ico.org.uk

    Automated decisions

    The intended processing of your personal data, will not include use of technology that will make decisions about any individuals by automated means.