One of the most complained and commented about holidays of the year is almost upon us. Valentine’s Day may mean hearts, flowers, naked baby angels - for some, it means rings. For 2017, we’re all in for rings, rings of the tree variety you understand. Nothing says love more than hope and commitment to the world around us and to the heartbroken and heartbreakers of the future.

The National Forest has come up with the perfect Valentine's Day pressie, Plant a Tree. In a suitably eco-friendly move the gift doesn’t come wrapped up in a bow, in fact the rather unsexy logistics all happen online, but, they result in something most marvellous. A chance to plant a tiny tree in the Forest yourselves. All recipients will be invited to attend a special tree planting event in The National Forest area which now covers 200 square miles of my own home counties, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire and offered to choose their sapling from a selection of oak, silver birch, rowan, small leaved lime or other native trees that may be available.

With the help of foresters from the National Forest Company, you then plant your tree in a new woodland that will always be open for you to visit. You can return and enjoy the woodland as it grows and develops, seeing the wildlife that make it their home, and the trees as they change with the seasons and over the years.

It is said that an oak tree can live for hundreds of years, taking 200 years to grow, 200 years to mature and 200 years to die. Eight and a half million trees have been planted in The National Forest in the Midlands over the last 25 years, and many thousands of these are oak trees. Your Valentine's gift will be part of creating The National Forest, the boldest environmentally-led sustainable regeneration initiative in the country.

Plant a Tree in The National Forest costs £25, which reflects the true cost of the tree, the land and the future care of the woodland. You can buy it online at or call the National Forest Company on 01283 551211.