Hundreds Of Thousands Of Trees Will Be Planted In England Thanks To Millions Of Pounds In Financing.

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Hundreds of thousands of trees will be planted in communities across England owing to money from the Nature for Climate Fund, which was announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Forestry Commission today as part of National Tree Week (Saturday 27 November).

Over £12 million will be distributed to the four successful applications to promote tree-planting activities for future generations through four funds.

The Local Authority Treescapes Fund will see 260,000 trees planted outside of forests, with 139 local authorities receiving funding for 42 projects totaling £4.4 million. The projects will promote a variety of tree-planting methods, including spontaneous regeneration, traditional planting, and community engagement.

Residents, schools, and environmental groups will work together to plant trees in public spaces, with community groups receiving training. These projects will restore trees to non-wooded locations such as riverbanks, hedgerows, alongside roads and pathways, and within vacant communal spaces — places where treescapes have been severely damaged owing to neglect, disease, or historical decline.

Urban forests make our cities safer, healthier, and more enjoyable places to live, contributing to people’s well-being while also helping to combat climate change. The third round of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund will support 46 projects in England that will plant nearly 25,000 trees, adding to the 134,000 trees that have already been planted in deprived urban areas.

The Woods into Management Forestry Innovation Funds, also announced today, will distribute over £700,000 to 17 projects restoring biodiversity in critical natural habitats, assisting forests in adapting to a changing climate, and assisting them in recovering from pest and disease impacts.

Projects will establish new ash timber business models and supply networks, assisting in the restoration of ash dieback-affected woods. Projects will also increase access to woodlands, allowing active management where it was previously impossible, while collaborating with forestry companies and conservation groups on woodland management.

Furthermore, the Tree Output Innovation Fund will provide more than £1 million to 16 creative projects aimed at increasing and diversifying our domestic tree production. Researchers, nurseries, seed providers, and industrial collaborations, such as the Future Trees Trust, the University of Oxford, and Maelor Forest Nurseries, were among those chosen.

The construction of clonal seed orchards for oak, the use of AI in advanced propagation systems, and DNA finger-printing technologies for the genetic tracing of Forest Reproductive Materials (FRM) will also be investigated in these initiatives.

Lord Goldsmith, the Minister for Forestry, said:

This targeted financial package will assist us in restoring and regenerating natural spaces around the country for the benefit of all.

As we aim to fulfil our promises made at COP26 and triple tree planting rates by the conclusion of this Parliament, trees are at the heart of our ambitious environmental policy. Trees and woodlands, on the other hand, are the lifeblood of communities, boosting welfare, lowering pollution, and increasing people’s quality of life on a local level.

Sir William Worsley, Chair of the Forestry Commission, stated:

These inspiring efforts will help stop the tide of biodiversity loss and promote resilient tree growth and management across the UK, all while futureproofing our natural world in the face of climate change.

Today’s funding announcement coincides with the opening of a third national community forest in Cumbria, completing the Government’s commitment in the England Trees Action Plan to establish three new community forests and contributing to the Government’s goal of tripling tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament.

The new forest, which will be planted along the west coast of Cumbria from Barrow to Carlisle, will cover up to 150 hectares (about 210 football pitches) and will better connect 65 miles of coastal settlements to nature.

Defra and the Forestry Commission have a number of flexible subsidies available that provide significant financial incentives for planting trees in areas where they are most needed. The awards cover a wide range of topics, including helping to plan new woodlands, greening cities, building carbon markets, and increasing domestic planting stock, and are aimed at a variety of audiences, including farmers and landowners, communities, eNGOs, local governments, and individuals.

A list of all Defra and Forestry Commission tree-planting funding and assistance may be found here.

Additional information is available at:
The England Trees Action Plan pledged to triple tree planting rates in England by the end of current Parliament, with funding from the Nature for Climate Fund of up to £500 million.

The Government also announced in its recently released Net Zero Strategy (October 21) that it will add £124 million to the Nature for Climate Fund, bringing the total spend to more than £750 million by 2025 on peat restoration, woodland creation, and management – far exceeding what was promised in the manifesto. Farmers and landowners will have additional chances to assist tree growth and woodland creation as a result of this.

Local Authority Treescapes Fund: A Case Study
Thanks to nearly £160,000 in funding from the Local Authority Treescapes Fund, Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council, along with Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, and Rossendale Borough Councils, aim to plant 39,400 trees across 135 locations. Ribble Rivers Trust is providing match money as well as training for tree planting volunteers and a financial donation to aid with tree costs.

This will help to battle historic and current tree losses caused by pests and diseases.
Traditional tree planting as well as natural colonisation will be part of the project, which will involve local schools, environmental and community groups in the locations where the trees will be planted.
This initiative will help to battle air pollution, provide flood defences, and connect fragmented habitats, all of which are goals of the scheme.

Urban Tree Challenge Fund case studies
Thanks to their most recent submission to the UTCF, Durham County Council will plant roughly 800 street trees over the next two years, as well as cover the first three years of their care. They were successful in obtaining over £334,000 in total financing from the fund during a four-year period.

Many of the planting sites are in neighbourhoods that rank in the top 10% of disadvantaged areas in the country, with others ranking in the top 10% to 30%.

Furthermore, the Green Eastbourne project will plant 1000 trees throughout the borough, with a focus on poor canopy cover and deprivation. The trees will be planted and maintained by volunteers from the local community. The project team is working on a tree health and maintenance app for all monitoring and recording the new planting’s success.

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