The PEOPLE of Colchester will be able to get their hands on 15,000 trees which will be given away for free this month.

Colchester Council’s annual Trees for Years event is back for 2022.

The event, now in its 15th year, had to be postponed last year due to Covid restrictions.

This time around, the event will see a number of changes aimed at making it easier for residents to collect trees and shrubs and reduce crowds.

Instead of just one venue, there will be five venues and six events in February.

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Residents can request up to three trees online before agreeing a location and time slot to collect them.

The locations and dates are:

• Highwoods National Park – Thursday February 17

• Highwoods Country Park – Sunday 20 February

• Marks Tey village hall – Wednesday 23 February

Hythe Community Center – Thursday 24 February

• St Anne’s Community Center – Friday February 25

• Tiptree Leisure World – Saturday 26 February

Available trees include Silver Birch, Holly, Hazel, Beech, Red Stem Dogwood, and Yellow Stem Dogwood.

For residents with less garden space, there will be a variety of shrubs including black currants and raspberries.

All the trees are bare-rooted and their height varies from 50 cm to 1.2 m.

Simon Crow, the council’s environment boss, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to hold the event this year, after last year’s event had to be postponed due to Covid restrictions.

“We hope that the new way to register and collect trees will make this initiative even more accessible to borough residents.

The program was made possible by the sponsorship of £2,000 from idVerde.

Trees are only available to borough residents, who will be asked to provide a valid postcode when filling out the form and a confirmation email when collecting.

Residents must also bring their own bags.

To select your trees and book a collection time, visit www.colchester.gov.uk/trees-for-years/.