2 October 2023
Share this story

Trees for Streets, the National Street Tree Sponsorship Scheme, recently launched in Gloucestershire. We soon discovered that one man had contacted the council to ask them to sign-up – and they’d listened.

He’d then contacted us to enquire about funding one new street tree each month, but what we didn’t realise is that this man and his family have transformed the way they live to make positive impact on the world. Meet Alistair…

Combating climate anxiety

Climate crisis, ecological breakdown, extreme weather, cost of living…phrases we hear everyday in the news and on social media. People feel helpless. What can an individual do? We met one man who’s taken upon himself to do almost everything that an ordinary citizen can do to play their part to help us adapt to these new norms, and help roll back the tide…

Street trees

Our paths crossed because Alistair had contacted Trees for Streets interested in donating towards planting more street tree in Gloucester. He’d in fact asked Gloucestershire County Council if they’d consider getting involved in our scheme – which they duly had done, joining the many other councils we work with across the country.

A monthly tree

Alistair’s plan was then to sponsor one tree per month out of his salary. These would be planted in local streets.

He fully understands the benefits of filling our streets with trees – from cooling, better air quality, increased bio-diversity, and improved well-being.

Tip of the ice-berg

We soon discovered that Alistair’s interest in greening up local streets was just the tip of the ice-berg. A visit to his house revealed his passion for living in harmony with the natural world…

Our visit

Reaching his house we were greeted by a wildlife hedge. Walking up his driveway – we passed an electric car – charging on the drive. Solar panels glistened on the roof, a collection of electric bikes packed the side of the house, above which an air-heat pump sat proudly attached to the wall. This was truly a 21st century dwelling.

Alistair popped his head round the front door. Full of enthusiasm for life, he invited us in, and soon were being given a tour of the back garden. A wild meadow was developing where once had been a neatly trimmed lawn, vegetables ripened in a small enclosure at the back, nearby a wildlife pond teamed with life.

All the guttering from the roof of the house fed into water storage tanks and was being used to irrigate the garden. During heavy deluges this would mean that Alistair’s house would not be adding to the already over-burdened sewage system.

And there’s more

We were led to a local amenity green-space where Alistair is planning raising funds for a community orchard.

We’ve been inspired by this man’s vision for a greener future for his local neighbourhood, and can’t wait to revisit when his sponsored trees are in place.

Do your thing

If you’d like to play your part, why not start by donating towards a street tree in your local area. It could be the start of something amazing.

You can search here to see if your council is running a street tree sponsorship scheme. Want to do something a bit more ambitious? Why not drop us a line team@treesforstreets.org.