Local Authority Treescapes Fund announced

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

A new funding initiative to increase tree planting and natural regeneration in local communities has been announced by the government, with £2.7m available this year.

The Local Authority Treescapes Fund is aimed at establishing more trees in riverbanks, hedgerows, parklands, urban areas, beside roads and footpaths, in copses and shelterbelts, including neglected, disused and vacant community spaces.

Trees in these settings are particularly valuable as they can provide the greatest levels of benefit to ecosystems and society, such as carbon absorption, flood protection and support for biodiversity, as well as connecting fragmented habitats.

Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith commented: “I am delighted to announce this new fund, which will get trees planted and land regenerated for the benefit of local communities and nature.

“This is an opportunity for communities to work with their local authorities to identify land, design projects and apply for funds.

“Trees and land restoration are central to our plans for nature recovery and to get to net zero emissions, and we know how much value people place on trees and green spaces in their local communities.”

The Fund will target landscapes that have been neglected in the past, ecologically damaged or affected by tree diseases like ash dieback, with ash being the most common species of tree found in non-woodland locations.

Funding will be available to all local authorities, via applications from top tier authorities.

The government is strongly encouraging local authorities to work with other organisations, NGOs, community groups and private individuals to deliver tree-planting and natural regenerations.

Applications will be accepted from unitary and top tier local authorities in England:

  • 25 County Councils (upper tier)
  • 32 London Boroughs (unitary)
  • 36 Metropolitan Boroughs (unitary)
  • 56 Unitary authorities (unitary)
  • 2 Sui Generis authorities – City of London Corporation and Isles of Scilly (unitary)

The Nature For Climate fund seeks to help deliver the English portion of the government’s manifesto commitment to increase tree planting to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK by 2025, alongside peatland restoration and nature recovery.

The fund will open in early April. Successful applicants will be informed by the end of July.

The Local Authority Treescapes Fund is part of the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund.

More information about the Local Authority Treescapes Fund can be found from the government website.