The Beeb is handing out 300,000 free trees at a thousand different garden centres, nurseries and DIY stores nationwide.
Each sapling has cost the corporation 32 pence - £96,000 in total
Yes, that's £96,000 on trees, not the £150,000 claimed in the headline. But the story adds:
This summer, it spent £57,500 on giving away 250,000 packets of vegetable seeds at 23 pence per pack as part of its 'Dig In' campaign.
So in tree-planting and 'grow your own veg' campaigns linked to the nature series Autumnwatch, the BBC has spent £153,500 on seeds and saplings.
This is an excellent idea and - refreshingly - several of the comments on the Mail story think so too. (Just to annoy the TPA and Mail: If you want to join the campaign and plant a tree on 5 December, the Autumnwatch website has all the details)
Of course, when you see the words 'under fire' you know this is the work of some publicity-hungry, rent-a-quote group who want to see their name in the paper:
The Taxpayers' Alliance has accused [the BBC] of misusing licence fees as if it were a 'charity with a bottomless pit of cash'.
Yes, predictably, it's them. Susie Squire from the TPA adds:
'It is totally misguided for the BBC to blow huge amounts of licence-payers' cash on trees and vegetable seeds when there are numerous worthy bodies working on these causes'.
'Huge amounts of licence-payers' cash'? Really?
If you take the overall BBC income for 2009 as a starting point - which is £4.6billion - then £153,000 amounts to 0.0033%.
Even if you are feeling generous and work out the percentage from the licence fee and government grants (so excluding sales) then £153,000 equals 0.004%.
It's 0.0034% of the BBC's £4,491.7 billion 2009 expenditure.
It's 1,073 licence fees.
It's a non-story.
But we now know this: the TPA thinks 0.003% is 'huge'.