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Record HSBC UK donation to enable mass tree planting

Beech woodland in early Autumn at Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire
Beech woodland in early Autumn at Woodchester Park | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Thanks to a record £4 million gift from HSBC UK to the National Trust, 2 million trees will be planted as part of ambitious plans to increase access to nature, tackle climate change, protect landscapes and attract more wildlife.

Fighting climate change

It’s the largest environmental donation of its kind made to the National Trust and the four-year project represents a major step forward in the fight against climate change. It will provide homes for nature and, by planting the right trees in the right places, will offer those living in urban areas access to new, nature-rich woodland.

The woodlands will cover an area roughly the size of Worcester and lock in the carbon equivalent of removing 15,000 cars from the road each year.

The National Trust's tree planting ambition

As part of our plan to become net zero by 2030, we have committed to planting and establishing 20 million trees covering an area the size of Birmingham. The mass tree planting projects will engage local communities and offer HSBC UK staff the opportunity to contribute alongside National Trust staff and volunteers.

HSBC UK’s global presence opens the door to new areas of international expertise, particularly around agroforestry management and how nature-based solutions to the climate crisis are being implemented across the globe. The gift is part of HSBC’s new Climate Solutions Partnership, which aims to unlock barriers to finance for companies and projects that tackle climate change.

Where the trees will be planted

The £4 million donation will enable the creation of woodland and carbon rich habitat in Wales and Northern Ireland, with sites currently being identified, as well as areas in England that include Killerton in Devon, Wallington in Northumberland, Dunham Massey in Cheshire, the Buscot and Coleshill Estate in Oxfordshire and at Wimpole in Cambridgeshire.

A man and a woman plant trees on tennant farmland at Lodge Park, Gloucestershire
Tree planting on tennant farmland at Lodge Park | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Tackling climate change and healing nature

As explained by National Trust Director-General, Hilary McGrady: ‘This donation offers so much more than just tree planting. By creating these woodlands, we hope to see further benefits by allowing the landscape to regenerate naturally and without the need for so much intervention by way of tree planting in the future. Nature has a way of healing if we can just give it a chance.’

This was echoed by Michaela Wright, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC UK: ‘We believe nature-based solutions can provide a third of the global climate mitigation needed by 2030, protecting nature as well as meeting people’s needs.’

Tree planting and ensuring the right trees flourish in the right areas are key strategies in turning the tide on climate change. Whether through carbon capture, ecosystem restoration, habitat creation, or soil stabilisation, trees perform a vital role in creating a better home for both wildlife and people, and this donation helps us take a significant step towards achieving that.

Rangers tree planting at Tughall Mill, Northumberland Coast

Help plant more trees

For only £5, you could help to plant a tree that will tackle climate change and support life for years to come. Your support will help to plant and establish 20 million trees by 2030.

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