Join Donate

Guidance on tree planting during Covid-19

As its first action, Humanist Climate Action is encouraging humanists to plant trees and send it to us by email or through social media by Earth Day on 22 April. The tree each person plants could be a mighty Oak in an open field or a small Bonsai in a pot. The point is to get as many humanists as possible planting. This will be followed by a formal launch event in May, where HCA will share the videos and photos.

Please also see our guide on general best practice advice when planting a tree. 

Currently, there are several different restriction regimes across the UK to prevent the spread of Covid-19. When participating in Humanist Climate Action’s tree planting initiative, you should make sure that you comply with these restrictions in your area and take measures to ensure that you and anyone else participating are Covid-secure. (And it’s hoped that even these restrictions might be lessened between now and 22 April, the end of the period when we are encouraging people to send photos and videos to us of them planting trees.)

Pandemic rules

Tree planting in England and Wales

There is a national stay at home order operating across England and equivalent Tier 4 restrictions in all parts of Wales. This means that you must stay at home and can only leave your house with a reasonable excuse. Although this will greatly limit the opportunities to get out and plant a tree, you can still get involved locally.

Firstly, you don’t have to leave home to plant a tree

  • You can plant a small tree in a pot at home. We would love to see pictures of trees being displayed on windowsills or balconies.
  • You can plant a tree in a garden or land attached to your property.

Secondly, under pandemic restrictions you can: 

  • attend an allotment. But you should aim to go at quiet times, in the company of only your household or support bubble, and maintain social distancing.
  • leave your home for a daily act of exercise. (But note in Wales, the guidance explicitly states that this provision cannot be used for undertaking any other incidental activity, other than strictly for exercising.)
  • before 29 March, if you are in England, only exercise with members of your household. After 29 March, we anticipate that the rules will be relaxed to allow six people from two households to meet outdoors.

Please check with the Welsh Government for any changes to these rules in Wales.

Tree planting in Northern Ireland

Similarly, in Northern Ireland, there is a stay at home order in place. This means that you must stay at home and can only leave your house with a reasonable excuse. Although this will greatly limit the opportunities to get out and plant a tree, you can still get involved locally.

Firstly, you don’t have to leave home to plant a tree

  • You can plant a small tree in a pot at home. We would love to see pictures of trees being displayed on windowsills or balconies.
  • You can plant a tree in a garden or land attached to your property.

Secondly, you can: 

  • check locally whether there are restrictions on attending allotments.
  • leave your home for a daily act of exercise.

Please check with the Northern Ireland Government for any changes in these rules.

Tree planting in Scotland

Humanists UK’s sister charity Humanist Society Scotland leads humanist campaigning on environmental issues in Scotland. However, if you are planting a tree in Scotland, please heed the following Covid-19 restrictions. In Scotland, the advice is to stay at home as much as possible. Mainland Scotland is in Level 4 restrictions that amount to a lockdown, with a stay at home order in place. This means that you should only leave your house for essential purposes. (However, some islands are at Level 3 which have different restrictions.) Although this will greatly limit the opportunities to get out and plant a tree, you can still get involved locally.

Firstly, you don’t have to leave home to plant a tree

  • You can plant a small tree in a pot at home. We would love to see pictures of trees being displayed on windowsills or balconies.
  • You can plant a tree in a garden or land attached to your property.

Secondly, you can: 

  • check locally whether there are restrictions on attending allotments.
  • leave your home for a daily act of exercise.

Please check with the Scottish Government for changes in these rules.

Search Humanists UK