Trees for Reading progress

Contributions to the initiative

A massive thank you to all the businesses and individuals that have donated to Trees for Reading so far.  

The Oracle boosting local biodiversity

The Oracle has funded two beautiful trees at Redlands Primary School – an Amelanchier lamarckii and a Prunus serrulata ‘Tai-Haku’ (an ornamental cherry). They raised the money through internal initiatives including selling honey from their own onsite beehives to staff and employees of their tenants. 

This was a bespoke project, where we worked closely with fellow volunteers from Erleigh Road Community Garden and Friends of Redlands, the school’s PTA, who are collaborating to transform the school grounds.  

Head teacher Shabana Aslam told us, “The children were impressed when they came back after the Easter break to see what lovely changes had been made to the school environment. You could hear them talking with excitement about how beautiful the playground was looking. 

“Since then I have often seen the children sitting on the planters at playtimes, talking about the changes and admiring the beautiful trees and flowers. A huge thank you to everyone involved – it has made such a difference!”

Read more on our blog.

Redlands Primary School trees

Thames Lido leading the way

Our first Trees for Reading tree

Our first corporate sponsor was Thames Lido

They planned to start charging a small fee for the use of their car park, to deter people from taking unfair advantage of it. They didn’t want to profit from it so were looking for a good local cause to donate to. We were thrilled when they contacted us to say they had decided to donate all the takings to Trees for Reading.

Their support has funded the planting and care of seven trees in the 2019-20 planting season and 19 in 2020-21. 

We planted the first tree – an Acer freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’ – in front of the lido, at our launch event in November 2019. The event was covered in The Reading Chronicle and In Your Area.

Unfortunately, as with many businesses in the hospitality industry, the pandemic has hit the lido hard, so they weren’t able to continue donating. However we are extremely grateful to the team there for the amazing start they gave our initiative. 

Business community tree-planting fund

These organisations have donated smaller amounts, which are adding up to help us bring more business-funded trees to Reading:

2021

The Castle Tap – This community-oriented pub on Castle Street was the first company to have a dedicated donation page. It was the landlady’s idea and a great one!

Organico Realfoods – This local organic food company generously donated £150 to our fund in June 2021.

Kat Creative – Kathryn donated to celebrate Kat Creative’s 20th anniversary – £1 for each year of helping organisations get their message across.

Craft Box Club – Founder Adam Roe has committed to donating £1 to Trees for Reading for every new subscriber to his eco-friendly craft box scheme.

2020

TDP Photography – Local photographer Tina Panting kindly offered to donate 50p to Trees for Reading for each Moods of Trees 2021 calendar she sells. 

The Foraging Bee – Botanical jewellery maker Nia donated in the run-up to Christmas 2020, commenting “This is a wonderful initiative, thank you. Keep planting trees and I’ll keep planting wildflower seeds.”

Kat Creative – Copywriter Kathryn McCann, one of our sustainability team volunteers, donated on behalf of her business for Christmas 2020.

Community tree-planting fund

In November 2019 we launched our first crowdfunding campaign on JustGiving, after a few people got in touch asking how they could donate as an individual. 

We raised £470, which we used to fund a very special tree, working in association with Brighter Futures for Children. The idea came from a 14-year-old boy who had been placed in a permanent foster home outside Reading. Feeling he was losing touch with his home town, he came up with the suggestion of getting a tree planted in the town centre, to make him and other young people in care feel rooted in Reading

Our friends at Reading Tree Wardens and Reading Borough Council selected a tree that would really make his vision come into reality – a stunning Prunus avium ‘Plena’. Several of the young people Brighter Futures for Children look after, including the inspiration behind the project, came to help plant the tree in February 2020, along with staff members. Several councillors also attended, including Councillor Karen Rowland, an adoptee herself, who gave a moving speech. 

In May 2021, young people in care and foster parents tied messages to the tree guard in the run-up to Foster Care Fortnight, to share their feelings on why it’s important for children in care to stay rooted in Reading. We’re so glad that we were able to be part of such a meaningful project, which is already making a real difference to how young people in care feel.  

N's tree drawing
Rooted in Reading tree at Christmas
Rooted in Reading tree at night

In October 2020 we launched another crowdfunding campaign, this time on Crowdfunder. During the two months of the campaign we managed to raise £1,120. This funded the planting of two trees in memory of the many people who have lost their lives to Covid-19, as well as other respiratory conditions, such as asthma exacerbated by air pollution.  

If you would like to donate to help us bring more community-funded trees to Reading, you can now do that directly through our new donation form. We have been thrilled to receive individual donations of as much as £300, but even £1 will make a difference. 

A few local businesses are also hosting collection boxes for us, and we’ll add the money collected to this fund. If you know somewhere that might like to host a collection box for us, please let us know.

If you have any queries about this initiative, one of our sustainability team would be glad to answer them. Just email [email protected].

Our first corporate sponsor was Thames Lido. They planned to start charging a small fee for the use of their car park, to deter people from taking unfair advantage of it. 

However they didn’t want to profit from it, and were looking for a good local cause to donate to. We were thrilled when they contacted us to say they had decided to donate all the takings to Trees for Reading.

Thanks to their support, we were able to plant eight trees in the 2019-20 planting season. We planted the first, together, in front of the lido, at our launch event on 26 November 2019. The event was covered in The Reading Chronicle and In Your Area

The trees the Lido has funded will all be marked with a plaque, so anyone passing can see how they came to be there.