A neighbour called to me as I was heading in to work at the Woodland Trust last week and said: “If I take my unwanted Christmas cards to my local M&S store, does it really mean that trees will be planted?”
My answer was simple: “yes, thousands of them.”
Since 2008 over 60 million Christmas cards have been collected by the public through the Woodland Trust and M&S Christmas Card Recycling Scheme – helping us to plant over 60,000 trees.
This is enough to fill 60 average sized football pitches, not to mention providing peaceful, natural homes for dozens of Britain’s much loved wildlife and species – from dormice to woodpeckers, beetles to butterflies.
With a national average of 13 per cent tree cover, the UK is woefully short of trees when compared to the European average of 44 per cent, so there is much that can be done.
At the Woodland Trust, we own and care for more than 1,000 freely accessible woods. We’ve planted more than 23 million trees since we were formed more than 42 years ago, helping save more than 400 threatened woods in the past 10 years, but we need help from the public to keep going and this scheme does just this.
We love the M&S Christmas Card Recycle scheme essentially because we love trees. Our ongoing campaign ‘Life’s better with trees’ stresses how important trees are to our lives. They purify the air we breathe, provide fuel, food, medicines and support some of our best-loved species. Our woods are a part of our heritage, deeply rooted in our folk and fairy tales, and they provide great open spaces for walks and family days out too.
Last year the public dropped a staggering 8.1 million cards into M&S stores and as a result, the UK is now 8,135 trees richer. The Scheme enables the public to get involved in a very simple and sustainable way. By dropping cards off at their local M&S stores, they can play a role in helping to increase woodland cover across the UK. For every 1,000 cards collected at M&S stores, one tree is planted and we hope to plant more than 10,000 new trees across the country from this year’s Christmas Card Recycling Scheme.
The recycling bins, in M&S stores until 31 January, make it easy for anyone to get involved in preserving our natural habitats.
To find out more visit: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/news/latest/christmas-card-recycling-2014/