Our first UK tree planting project supports mental health, improves access to nature, and reduces air pollution in urban areas, particularly around NHS hospitals.
Back in May, we decided to dedicate revenues from UK searches to plant trees on NHS sites to #GrowYourLove for frontline healthcare workers. In only three days, our more than 1.5 million UK users came out to show their appreciation for NHS staff by raising over 2,000 trees for hospitals up and down the country. That’s enough trees to plant multiple small forests and improve access to green spaces to support the mental and physical wellbeing of NHS key workers whilst providing cleaner air for local communities.
A few months on and the UK is bracing itself for some challenging months ahead. But autumn also brings with it an opportunity for new growth, as the UK tree-planting season kicks off and the wellies come on. Ecosia will be planting throughout this autumn and winter, together with our local partners, Trees for Cities and NHS Forest, to get 2,020 trees in the ground and deliver the many benefits that urban trees and woodlands can bring to local communities.
First up is Hillingdon in north London, where we’ve teamed up with Trees for Cities and the local council to plant over 500 trees near Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust with children from local schools – during carefully adapted planting days to comply with social distancing measures.
The site, which is close to the busy Hillingdon Hospital and several schools, will extend the existing wooded area and transform the vacant space – both visually and environmentally – by increasing biodiversity and habitat for wildlife while providing areas of shade, visual interest and softening the boundary of the park. A small orchard will also be planted to provide the local community with opportunities to learn how to grow and harvest food. By endeavouring to use historically grown species, the orchard will also re-connect the area with its horticultural past.
Ecosia’s 500 saplings, consisting of a mixed range of native species, are the first of the trees to be planted in and around more than 10 different hospitals across the UK. Other sites will include local parks near hospitals in urban areas with high levels of pollution and where access to nature is limited.
Learn more about our tree-planting projects in the UK and around the world.