Millions of funding announced to plant hundreds of thousands of trees in England

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Hundreds of thousands of trees will be planted in communities across England thanks to funding through the Nature for Climate Fund, Defra and the Forestry Commission have announced as National Tree Week was launched on Saturday 27th November.

Over £12 million will be allocated to the successful applicants to four funds supporting tree planting efforts for future generations.

Forestry Minister, Lord Goldsmith, commented on the announcement: “This targeted package of funding will help us to build back greener and regenerate natural spaces across the country for the benefit of all.

“Trees are at the heart of our ambitious environmental programme, as we work to deliver on the promises we made at COP26 and treble tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament.

“But at the local level, trees and woodlands are the lifeblood of communities, essential to supporting wellbeing, reducing pollution and improving people’s quality of life.”

260,000 trees will be planted outside of woodlands as part of the Local Authority Treescapes Fund, with 139 local authorities awarded a share of the now £4.4 million pot across 42 projects. Projects will support a variety of ways to get trees in the ground, from natural regeneration and traditional planting to community engagement.

On the same day it was also announced that Woods into Management Forestry Innovation Funds will distribute almost £700,000 to 17 projects restoring biodiversity in vulnerable natural habitats, helping woodlands adapt to a changing climate and aiding their recovery from the impacts of pests and diseases.

In addition, the Tree Production Innovation Fund will make over £1 million available to 16 innovative projects striving to increase and diversify our domestic tree production.

Those selected include collaborations from researchers, nurseries, seed suppliers and industry, such as the Future Trees Trust, the University of Oxford and Maelor Forest Nurseries.

These projects will explore a range of novel production methods, including the establishment of clonal seed orchards for oak, use of AI in advanced propagation systems and DNA finger-printing technologies for the genetic tracing of Forest Reproductive Materials (FRM), respectively.

The funding allocation also comes alongside the launch of a third national community forest which will be created in Cumbria, marking the fulfilment of the Government’s commitment in the England Trees Action Plan to create three new community forests, and helping to deliver on the Government’s commitment to treble tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament.

Defra and the Forestry Commission have a variety of flexible grants which offer strong financial incentives for planting trees where they are most needed.

The grants cover different areas from support to plan new woodlands, making urban areas greener, developing carbon markets, and to increase domestic planting stock, and are targeted at different audiences, including farmers and landowners, communities, eNGOs, local authorities, and individuals.

A summary of all Defra and Forestry Commission grants and support available for tree planting can be found on the UK Government website.

More information about the winning projects is available on the UK Government website.