Doncaster's Million Tree Challenge

Doncaster’s One Million Tree Challenge is an ambition initiated by Mayor Ros Jones that seeks to plant a million trees across the city by 2031.

Tackling climate change remains a key priority for the council, and part of this is a continued support for planting and maintaining trees across the city. Almost 200,000 trees have now been planted across Doncaster since previous baseline reports.

If you have land you would like to plant trees on, from gardens to fields, please e-mail us at sustainabilityteam@doncaster.gov.uk

What is Doncaster’s Million Tree Challenge?

Following Full Council support for the declaration of a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency for Doncaster in September 2019, a baseline of tree canopy coverage was assessed and set at 13% of the borough.

A new target was set to increase canopy cover from 13% to 17%, and from this Doncaster’s One Million Tree Challenge was formed.

Since the baselining, the total number of trees planted and contributing to the City’s One Million Trees Challenge is currently 194,847.

Doncaster Tree Register

Let us know of your contribution to the Million Tree Challenge by recording them on our Tree Register; we can count them all towards the one million total.

REGISTER YOUR TREE PLANTING 

Planting activity recorded so far can be viewed on the Doncaster Tree Register map.

200,000 Trees and Counting…



  • 194,847 

    trees planted
     


  • 247,030

    tree seeds sown and planted
     

A breakdown of projects from across the city

Woodland Creation and Management



There have been 3 new woodlands created in Doncaster: Sheffield Road in Conisbrough, Crossfield Lane in Skellow, Linden Walk in Toll Bar. These are supported by Northern Forest’s Grow Back Greener fund, which is financed by the Woodland Trust.

If you have a site suitable for woodland creation and would like more information, please do contact us to learn about our work with South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership.

Alongside these, the council manages over 40 woods, that are patrolled by our Countryside and Woodland Rangers. Their management plans are devised by Street Scene’s Tree Team and are all currently being updated as of April 2024.

Urban Trees



Each year, the council’s Street Scene Tree Team plant more than their target of 250 trees, planting 354 in the 2023/2024 planting season.

Whilst maintaining existing tree stock, these new trees are pruned, watered, and mulched for 3 years following initial planting and staking. This helps to ensure the trees survive and thrive and make the amazing benefits of urban trees a reality. These benefits include: cleaner air, reducing noise pollution, flood management, and aesthetics, making the streets of Doncaster a nicer place to be!

Schools



In 2023, 47 schools throughout the city got involved with the Queen’s Green Canopy planting programme to plant almost 22,000 trees. In 2024, using funding from the Tree Council’s Network Rail Community Tree Planting Fund, 22 schools planted 7,500 trees as hedgerows, orchards, and living willow structures, such as domes and tunnels.

Cemeteries & Crematoriums



The Bereavement Services team worked alongside the Sustainability Unit to plant 3,219 trees across the council managed cemetery and crematorium sites. This planting primarily created hedgerows and community orchards.

Trees were planted with the help of various schools and community groups at Arksey Cemetery, Askern Cemetery, Conisbrough Cemetery, Hyde Park Cemetery, Mexborough Cemetery, Red House Cemetery, Rosehill Crematorium, and Warmsworth Cemetery.

Doncaster’s Free Tree Giveaway



After sourcing free trees from the Woodland Trust, the council’s Sustainability Unit launched a pilot in February and March 2024 to understand interest from residents and landowners in free trees. To our delight, each round of a thousand free trees sold out in a matter of hours!

If you have interest in any future free trees, please do sign up to our Green Team Newsletter here.

Residential and Private



A large part of the Million Tree Challenge’s numbers come from outside of the council, on residential and private land. These additions are just as valuable to ensure that we all create a greener, cleaner Doncaster. Trees planted within this category include those in home gardens, on agricultural land and allotments, and by businesses on land they own.

Community



Another sizable component of Doncaster’s Million Tree Challenge is community planting. Green spaces can encourage more social interaction and a stronger sense of community. Examples of trees planted as a community are projects in publicly accessible spaces that members of the community contribute to, such as in existing parks and green spaces by volunteer groups.

NHS Forest

As part of holistic health services, the NHS is committed to greening spaces on or near NHS sites. NHS Forest endeavours to transform spaces to benefit health, wellbeing, and biodiversity. They help sites to plan, plant, and manage trees and woodlands to create habitats for wildlife and sustainable social spaces for people. You can find out more here.