At the National Trust in North Devon there is an ambition to plant 125,000 trees over the next five years.

Compostable cups from tea-rooms such as at Watersmeet near Lynmouth and Sandleigh (Croyde) are helping to make this happen.

With Covid-19, many of the food and beverage outlets have been serving hot drinks in compostable cups and over the summer in North Devon they’ve served around 8,000 cups of tea.

Although much of the packaging in the food and beverage outlets is biodegradable, made from recycled and plant-based materials, it still leaves a lot of waste. It occurred to the team that they could make use of these cups to grow oak trees with acorns collected from different woodlands.

Currently they’ve potted 500 acorns in these cups, and when they’ve grown into saplings, they will be removed from the cups and will be planted out around the coastline and countryside to help fulfil the ambition to plant 125,000 trees. They are aiming to help fight climate change, and also to help build natural corridors to give wildlife a better chance.

Jack Ward, ranger on West Exmoor said: “There are great benefits to gain from tree-planting. We can improve valuable habitats and biodiversity while making an impact on carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. Besides all of this, trees create a wonderful oasis to escape for peace and tranquillity.”

To help the North Devon National Trust you can donate online via their North Devon woodland appeal page which goes towards planting broadleaf trees at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/heddon-valley .