ANT is a tree planting project with a difference: we are a regional charity that purchases land in the area to create new woodlands, ensuring permanence and additionality.  Our donors, volunteers and partners know that each ANT project they support is achieving something special.

Nationally and internationally, planting trees is recognised as one of the most important actions we can all take to help slow climate change and tackle the ecological emergency, along with other behaviour changes to reduce carbon consumption.

Individuals, organisations and companies have responded to this call.  Whether that’s people planting in their garden, farmers planting new trees or hedgerows, or organisations planting trees on their land, the response nationally and internationally has been inspiring.

However, for tree planting to make a difference, it needs to be at a larger scale and a commitment to aftercare and long-term management is needed.  Trees do not store significant carbon right away and require decades of careful management until those benefits are really seen.  In fact, most tree planting schemes will be in ‘carbon debt’ for several years, so this long-term care is vital.  Where planting takes place on private land, it is important to ask whether those trees will still be there in fifty years’ time.

Organisations are quickly running out of land that is suitable for tree planting and Government incentives to help nature often do not favour tree planting.  There has been welcome trend to support international tree planting, but as our area is so deforested, more individuals and businesses are now seeing the value in supporting local projects.

Unless new woodlands are on land where permanence and long-term care can be guaranteed, there is the risk that tree planting efforts will stall.  This is where the ANT difference of purchasing land for new woodlands, and ensuring long-term care, has become so important. We carefully train our volunteers to plant and care for trees in ways that will maximise their chances of survival for the long-term.

Ancient Woodland at Hazeland

Permanent woodlands at scale

Avon Needs Trees raises money to buy land in the Bristol-Avon catchment area.  We only buy land that is best suited for tree planting and large enough to plant a significant new woodland.  Owning the land we plant on is the best way to guarantee the woodland will still be there in the decades to come, storing up carbon and providing a habitat for wildlife.

Saplings in a bucket at Stanley Lane

Image - Clive Dellard

Additionality

When individuals and businesses decide what tree planting project to support, the word additionality is often mentioned.  Additionality boils down to this question: would the tree planting have taken place anyway, even without your support? ANT has to raise significant funds to purchase land to create our woodlands and maintain them. This means that without your generosity and help, the project would not have happened.

Smiling volunteer at Stanley Lane

Image - Canopy and Stars

Our ethical approach

ANT prioritises ethics and sustainability in everything we do.  We have robust policies that reject greenwashing and ensure our projects are sustainable.  From banning the use of chemicals on our sites, to only using biodegradable tree guards rather than plastic, to our staff working from a carbon-neutral hub, ANT lives and breathes sustainability.

Image - Rob Carmier

Local charity involving local communities

We only create new woodlands in our local area, based on the Bristol-Avon catchment.  This ensures our deforested area sees the benefits of natural flood management, improved biodiversity and more opportunities for people to connect with nature.  At least 500 volunteers help us to plant trees each year, and we aspire to create green spaces that local communities can enjoy. We encourage volunteers to stay with us by providing training, year-round events and conservation days to give saplings a really good start!

Tree planting at Hazeland

Image - Daisy Brasington

Long-term care and impact

New woodlands can only help tackle the climate and ecological emergencies if they are carefully managed and cared for in the long term.  ANT guarantees this by buying the land on which it creates woodlands.  Our volunteers and donors can support us with the reassurance and confidence that ANT’s woodlands will still be here, improving our planet, in fifty years’ time.