Plans to treble tree planting rates have been announced by the government.
Under the new target, approximately 7,000 hectares of woodlands will be planted per year by the end of this Parliament (May 2024) alongside new initiatives to improve the health of our trees, create more woodlands in cities and deliver thousands of green jobs.
The increase in woodland creation rates will be backed up by new funding for tree nurseries to improve domestic tree production and maintain high levels of biosecurity. It will also ensure the trees we plant now are healthy and resilient to the impacts of changing climate and increasing threats from pests and diseases.
Responding to the England Trees Action Plan, CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:
“We welcome government’s plans to plant 7,000 hectares of woodlands per year in England by 2024 to tackle the current climate crisis. But the challenge of reaching this target and maintaining this planting rate shouldn’t be underestimated and will need to be underpinned by the right mix of policies and incentives.
“Going forward, it’s critically-important that government makes woodland creation more attractive for farmers and landowners to help mitigate climate change, increase biodiversity and produce more timber from their land.
“We welcome the new funding for our tree nurseries which will enable a home-grown forestry economy to develop. We need a variety of trees - both native broadleaf and commercial mixes - for amenity, biodiversity, and for timber, which will lock up carbon in buildings for decades to come. New initiatives to improve the health of our trees are also welcome because trees are under-threat from a growing number of pests and diseases such as grey squirrels and Ash dieback.”