Communities all across England will see millions more trees planted thanks to Government investment to expand woodlands. The investment will create larger, well-designed and more diverse woodlands which will be more resilient to climate change, as well as natural hazards such as wildfires and storms – playing an important role in helping us adapt to a warmer world. They will help to reduce ﬂood risk in vulnerable areas, provide sustainable UK grown timber and provide more places for nature and biodiversity to thrive. The CLA has been campaigning for new tree planting initiatives to combat the effects of climate change and ensure that new woodlands are as resilient as possible when facing these challenges.
England’s 13 Community Forests, including the Humber and Mersey Forests as well as partners including the Northern Forest, National Forest and Great Northumberland Forest, are all set to benefit from the funding. As part of the Government’s £750 million Nature for Climate Fund, these projects will expand woodlands near our cities, towns, villages and rivers - giving more people greater access to nature and improving health and wellbeing.
The creation of new green jobs as a result of this funding will be a boost for communities across the English countryside as we continue on the path to Net Zero
Collectively around 2,300 hectares of trees – equivalent to around 3,220 football pitches – will be planted as part of this year’s £44.2 million funding allocation, playing an important role in Government ambitions to treble tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament and reach net zero. It is estimated the planting announced today will see 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide absorbed by 2050, valued at nearly £100 million.
In response to the announcement, CLA President, Mark Tufnell, said: “The announcement from DEFRA to add £44.2m into Community Forests and the expansion of woodlands in England is to be welcomed. New measures to create woodlands resistant to climate change are something the CLA has been calling for. Ensuring that this tree planting will strengthen flood resistance in rural communities, whilst also providing sustainable timber is encouraging news."
Mark added: "The creation of new green jobs as a result of this funding will be a boost for communities across the English countryside as we continue on the path to Net Zero.”
This announcement forms part of wider Government action to recover and restore nature, as part of the 25 Year Environment Plan, and commitments to reach net zero by 2050.
To see what grants are available, please visit Regional woodland grants and incentives.