PEOPLE in Hillingdon are being invited to sponsor a tree in the borough as an unusual Christmas gift.

Hillingdon Council was one of the first authorities in the capital to sign up to the Trees for Streets initiative in the summer.

The best time of year for planting new trees coincides with the festive season, when people might be looking for more unusual gifts.

The not-for-profit scheme is being run by the national charity, Trees for Cities.

Residents can request for a tree to be planted in their street by making an online sponsorship donation via the council’s website.

Alternatively, they can sponsor a ‘celebration’ tree, to be planted in one of the borough’s parks or green spaces.

All applications will be assessed by the council’s team and, if approved, will be planted this winter.

Applications need to be submitted before the closing date on Thursday, January 6.

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: "A stunning cherry tree or young apple tree could be the perfect gift for a loved one, but also something that will be enjoyed by future generations.”

The scheme follows work the council has already been doing in partnership with Trees for Cities to plant trees in green spaces, streets and schools. More than 14,000 have been planted already this year.