How to

How to plant your postcode

Step 1: Anyone interested?

Speak informally to people who live or work in the area where you think new tree planting is needed to ask if they would like to have trees planted or replaced in their area.

If you are a community group or organisation (such as a rotary club, school or youth group) or a business, speak to your colleagues and other members to check you have support for tree planting.

You need to have at least 5 members in your residents’ group or community organisation in order to participate in the Plant Your Postcode scheme. There are plenty of activities you will need to do to get your trees organised and planted so you will need some support to get things done. It’s useful to find people with a range of skills and interests, from those who would like to fundraise to those who would like to help care for trees and water them once planted.

Speak to your local Councillor to tell them you are planning on taking part in Plant Your Postcode.

Step 2: Register your interest

Go to our contact form and register your interest in having trees planted.

Step 3: Inform residents

Let all the residents in your area (or your colleagues) know about your ideas for planting. You could create an illustrated leaflet (see our Letting People Know leaflet) to put through letterboxes or you could use social media. See who is willing to help. You could also arrange a meeting in a local hall or pub to tell everyone about your plans and to gather support.

Step 4: See if it’s possible

Start by gathering information about your local street(s) or park. We need to know about the site and your plans for it (such as the number and species of tree you would like planted). Provide us with this information by completing this simple questionnaire for either Street Tree Planting or Green Space Planting and return it to us. The Plant Your Postcode team will collate all the available information and will liaise with Brighton & Hove City Council about an on-site inspection.

Your group will then be contacted directly by Brighton & Hove City Council who will come and carry out a survey to determine whether your proposed tree planting is possible. The timescales within which a survey can be carried out will depend on the level of demand, the nature of the proposed site and the Council’s resources. The survey will look at soil condition/type; underground services; buildings and other infrastructure; existing trees and vegetation; and, street furniture. In some sites planting may not be possible, for example, because pavements are too narrow or underlying services would be damaged. Ultimately, the City Council will determine whether a site can be planted.

The City Council will acknowledge receipt of your initial questionnaire and request for a survey and will undertake a survey as soon as possible. The survey will give an indication of:

  • the number of trees and recommendations for species of trees that can be planted; and
  • the cost of planting per tree and an estimated total cost.

As a rule of thumb, a new tree planted on the grass will cost about £395; a tree planted in the street will cost from £445 and could be considerably more (and can be around £4,000 – £5,000 per tree). The costs of street planting will depend on many factors including the surrounding infrastructure and services, defences required to protect the tree once planted and level of watering anticipated.

Please note that even though a survey may say that planting can be carried out, at the time that work commences to plant the trees unforeseen factors may mean that planting cannot be done at the site – in this case the City Council will discuss with you whether planting could be done elsewhere instead.

The City Council have allocated funding for 2019/2020 to the replacement of tree stumps within the City and the Council’s resources are therefore being deployed towards this in the short term. New planting under Plant Your Postcode will therefore be planned primarily for Autumn 2020 onwards.

Step 5: Collect signed agreements

Collect signatures from the residents confirming their agreement to the planting. In the case of a block of flats the landlord or freehold owner may need to be contacted. Use this Collecting Signatures form.

Step 6: Get fund-raising support

Get residents raising funds and set a timescale to find the money. This could be by individual contributions and/or by holding fund-raising events. Here are some ways you can raise money to plant trees in your street or area:

  • Club together with your neighbours: Speak to your neighbours on your street or nearby and suggest that you each put money in to contribute towards buying your trees. Just 5 people giving £100 each will fund a street tree (and you will need less if you are planting in a park)
  • Organise a fundraising event: Hold a street party or organise a quiz night or coffee morning to raise funds for trees in your local area
  • Run the marathon or enter yourself for some other feat: and raise money via sponsorship
  • Approach local businesses in your area: Local businesses might be prepared to sponsor trees or contribute to your project in return for advertising and promotion. Tree planting is an ideal way to offset a carbon footprint
  • Look out for local funding schemes: For example, supermarkets like Tesco (via its Bags of Help scheme) and Waitrose (via its Community Matters scheme) contribute vital money to local projects.  Put your application in for funds to be given for your street tree planting
  • Apply for grant funding: You may be able to apply for public funding towards your tree planting. Look out for grants that support community spaces or improving the environment.  Organisations such as Grants Online or Funding Central are a good starting point for information and have online databases that can be searched to find available grants
  • Consider setting up a local crowdfunding campaign under the umbrella page. This can be a great way of raising awareness for your scheme and getting financial support.

Use this Donations record form to record cash/cheque donations your group receives and encourage people to sign the gift aid declaration as it increases their donation by 25% at no cost to themselves.

Keep the Plant Your Postcode project team regularly updated about your progress on fundraising.

Note that if fundraising takes longer than 1 year from the date of the survey we may need to arrange for an update to the Brighton & Hove City Council survey undertaken at Step 4 above.

Step 7: Bank the funds

When you have raised all the funds required for your local scheme, bank the funds using the Making a Donation form which will allow us to claim gift aid which increases eligible funds you raise by 25%. Alternatively, you can bank the funds via the Plant Your Postcode website (although amounts donated via the website may be subject to fees and charges by third-party providers).

We hope that all local schemes will reach their fundraising targets within your timescale. If you don’t reach the target in time then you have the following options:

  • Set a revised date to raise additional funds
  • Scale back your local scheme
  • Donate the funds your group has raised to another local scheme or to the overall parent project
  • Cancel the local scheme and notify your local residents that sufficient funds could not be raised and refund all monies donated (please note though that if you have set up a local crowdfunding campaign under the umbrella page and your target amount is not reached then the funds will be allocated to the parent project and used to fund trees elsewhere).

Step 8: Your trees will be ordered

Once the funds are received an order will be placed for your trees with Brighton & Hove City Council, who place orders for the following winter’s planting in September each year.

The Council will set a schedule for planting in line with the City Tree Strategy and the availability of staff to plant. Planting should usually take place within 18 months of an order being placed. Trees will usually be planted over the winter period – January to March. The Plant Your Postcode team will keep you notified as to planting dates.

If an unforeseen event occurs and your trees cannot be planted within a reasonable period from the order being placed, we will refund your group the monies banked with us less the administration charge as notified on the website.

Step 9: Aftercare

Once your new trees are planted, enjoy them!

All new trees are provided with an aftercare package, details of which will be provided when your trees are planted. However, they will need lots of watering for the first three years after they have been planted, especially when it is hot or when there has been little rainfall so please be aware of your saplings’ needs. You will be provided with information about how to look after your new tree(s) too. It is a really good idea to appoint a tree champion from your group who will take the lead in looking after your new trees, ensuring they are watered and generally looking out for them. Additional training for tree champions can be provided.

The Plant Your Postcode team are here to help guide you and support you through the process. If you have any questions or need help then use our contact form to get in touch.