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Wildheart Animal Sanctuary Branches Out With Grant Funding

Sandown's Wildheart Animal Sanctuary has hailed the impact of funding from The Tree Council’s Branching Out Fund.

This year, the Sanctuary planted 27 native trees within the grounds, thanks to help from their volunteers and gardening club members.

Branching Out provides grants ranging from £250 to £2,500 to community groups, schools, small registered charities, and Tree Warden Networks seeking to establish trees, hedgerows, and orchards throughout the winter planting season to support biodiversity and further develop green spaces.

A variety of native trees including Black Alder, English Oak and Field Maple trees were planted across the whole site, on February 16 and 17.

Trees were chosen that have edible leaves and branches for the Sanctuary’s omnivores, so the Animal Team can use fallen boughs to create enrichment activities and diversify their animal’s diets, and in the farm area they were planted to provide shade for the rescued pigs in the summer.

The new trees will also improve the overall aesthetic of the Sanctuary and encourage local wildlife to visit and thrive.

Christine Harty, the Sanctuary’s Head of Fundraising, said:

“We are grateful to the Tree Council for providing this generous grant, which allows our Sanctuary to increase our biodiversity, support native tree growth, develop our green spaces, and engage with our local community”

Now in its 17th year, Branching Out has supported hundreds of projects in communities throughout England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

The initiative is known for delivering new habitats for wildlife, and a green living legacy for residents and visitors to enjoy, from Cornwall to Carmarthenshire, and Fife to Fermanagh.

The focus is on planting a variety of tree species, bare root, with cardboard or bioplastic protection.

Comprehensive advice around the types of trees to plant and the tree protection needed is provided by The Tree Council as part of the application process.

The Tree Council Grants Officer, Geraldine Creaven said:

“Branching Out presents a fantastic opportunity for schools and community groups large and small to get their spades in the ground and start establishing life-enhancing and biodiversity boosting trees, hedgerows, and orchards in their neighbourhoods.

“We’re so thrilled for all our successful applicants, especially the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary.”

To find out more about The Tree Council’s Branching Out Fund, follow this link.

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