TV Presenter, Author and Garden Designer, Chris Beardshaw, is encouraging people to plant a tree this year as part of the Gloucestershire 1000 millennium celebrations.

As a lasting legacy of the millennium celebrations, the ‘1000 Trees’ campaign is inviting individuals and companies in the county to plant or sponsor a tree with the aim of planting a total of one thousand new trees across Gloucestershire.

Chris is a fervent supporter of the campaign and the idea of preserving our environment for future generations. ‘My career was founded on the reward that was revealed to me when I started planting trees as a boy’, says Chris. ‘It’s a habit that I am happy to say still persists and as the proverb goes – A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.’

Gloucestershire 1000 is pleased to be working in partnership with The Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, to offer tree-planting advice to green fingered individuals or encourage companies to make donations toward the planting of new trees in the county.

Two ways of getting involved in the campaign make it easy to add to the grand total. Individuals can grab a spade and plant a tree in their back garden, even encouraging their children to enjoy the experience. Local businesses can also invest in a greener future by making a donation towards other community tree planting schemes taking place in Gloucestershire.

The saplings, provided by The Woodland Trust, will be planted by school children and their teachers, offering them an opportunity to take ownership of their local environment and watch the trees take root and flourish.

Anyone planting or sponsoring a tree as part of the 1000 Trees campaign will have their names added to the grand total and tree-planting map on the website. Each contributor will also be invited to a special tree event in the spring.

Project Co-ordinator for the Gloucestershire 1000 celebrations, Laura Fleming, hopes that the county’s millennium will offer a chance to consider future generations. ‘Celebrating the county’s past also offers an opportunity to look to the social and environmental challenges facing us in Gloucestershire over the next 1000 years and consider how we want 2007 to be remembered.’

Woodland is one of the UK’s richest wildlife habitats and provides immense social and economic benefits. In the last 100 years nearly half our woodland, including priceless trees more than 400 years old, has been lost to make way for conifer plantations, agriculture, houses, motorways and airports. Research shows that contact with woods and nature makes us feel better about ourselves.

An information pack with details of how to make a donation is available on the website and includes advice for anyone wanting to grab their wellies and plant a tree themselves. Anyone wanting to know more about 1000 Trees or sponsorship options can contact Laura Fleming on 01242 714863.

Also see 1000 trees – plant a tree for Gloucestershire’s millennium