Nearly 680,000 trees to be planted as two funds open for applications

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Hundreds of thousands of trees are set to be planted in communities across England as applications for the Local Authority Treescapes Fund and the Urban Tree Challenge Fund reopen for applications.

Over £9 million will be allocated to successful applicants across both funds, which form part of the government’s wider drive to treble tree planting rates across England by the end of this Parliament and plant 30,000 hectares of trees across the UK per year by 2025.

Both funds form part of the Government’s wider drive to treble tree planting rates across England by the end of this Parliament and plant 30,000 hectares of trees across the UK per year by 2025.

Forestry Commission Chair Sir William Worsley commented on the announcement: “Together, these funds will help to promote resilient tree growth in England for generations to come, whilst simultaneously addressing the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.

“Research shows that trees planted on streets in urban areas help to decrease antidepressant costs related to mental health issues by £16 million.

“We are therefore committed to expanding and protecting our nation’s treescapes through schemes like these for the health, social and economic benefits they bring.”

Now in its second round, successful applicants to the Local Authority Treescapes Fund will be allocated a share of £5.4 million for the planting of up to 650,000 trees in 2022/23.

Projects will support local authorities to establish trees in different ways, from natural regeneration (where trees are left to naturally develop) to traditional planting.

Community engagement is encouraged, and local authorities can bring together local residents, schools and environmental groups to restore trees in areas outside woodlands.

These include riverbanks, parks, beside roads and footpaths, and within vacant community spaces – areas where treescapes are often highly degraded due to neglect or disease.

If successful, applicants to the fourth round of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund will be awarded a share of more than £3.8 million – enough to fund the planting of over 28,000 large trees in both urban areas, and where rural and urban areas meet.

This funding aims to grow the number of trees in and around deprived urban areas to bring people from all socio-economic backgrounds closer to nature.

Applications for both funds are now open until 31 May 2022.

More information about the Local Authority Treescapes Fund and the Urban Tree Challenge Fund is available on the UK Government website.