To mark 50 years of Harrogate International Festivals and to look forward to the next 50 years, the arts charity has joined forces with Bettys and Taylors to plant 50 trees.

The first 25 acer trees have been planted on the Slingsby Walk Stray by Harrogate Borough Council.

2017’s Harrogate Music Festival starts June 30 and runs throughout July. It features the theme ‘Generations’ with acts celebrating generations of great composers, such as the European Union Chamber Orchestra exploring the families of Mozart and Haydn. Rebooting music from past eras are Alex Mendham and His Orchestra, bringing the 1930s silver-screen alive.

The Festival also features rising stars with the BBC3 New Generation Artists, and Young Musician Series, investing in future talent, part of its 50-year legacy.

Lizzie Brewster, Harrogate International Festivals’ Future 50 Appeal Coordinator, said: “Trees are such a powerful, living, beautiful way to celebrate the life of a loved one, or a unique gift to mark special occasions in your life, such as a wedding or landmark birthday. There’s a great synergy between the idea of planting a tree and music. Both transcend time and carry meaning, both are unique and beautiful. The trees symbolise too an investment in the future of our Festival, to keep culture alive for future generations. The arts, like trees, enrich all our lives.”

The Acer tree, a Field Maple cultivar, has small, bright green, lobed leaves that appear in the spring time. Its Samara fruits are produced on the tree in early summer.  In autumn the foliage turns a range of colours, mainly oranges, yellows and browns, before falling.

Lizzie added: “They will be a beautiful addition to the Stray and a wonderful long-lasting way to mark a moment, memory or family member and we’d like to thank Harrogate Borough Council for their support in sourcing and planting the trees.”

Sam Gibson from Bettys & Taylors said, “It’s lovely to be part of Harrogate International Festival’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. The Festival does an incredible job in bringing the best of music and literature to Harrogate and we’re glad to help support its Future 50 Appeal through our long running Trees for Life project. We hope the trees on the Stray will be enjoyed by visitors and residents for many years to come.”

Bettys & Taylors has been planting and protecting trees around the world since 1990. The family business’s Trees for Life campaign has seen it protect an area of rainforest the size of the Yorkshire Dales and plant three million trees around the world. As well as supporting tree planting and education work with schools in Yorkshire, the business is planting 20,000 trees in the Yorkshire Dales with the National Trust and supporting tea farmers in Kenya to plant one million trees.

To dedicate a tree, visit: or ask to speak to Lizzie at the Festival office on 01423 562 303.

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