Building on the recommendations of the Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity, the UK Government has announced new commitments for tree planting and tree health in England.
The England Trees Action Plan (ETAP) will aim to ‘at least treble’ tree planting rates in England by the end of this Parliament, reflecting England’s contribution to meeting the UK’s overall target of planting 30,000 hectares per year by the end of this Parliament.
Forestry Commission Chair, Sir William Worsley, commented on the launch earlier this week: “It is crucial that we act now to ensure that we leave our environment in a better state for future generations.
“We need to work towards net zero emissions by 2050, to address biodiversity loss, to better connect people with nature and to create more green jobs in doing so.
“Trees are central to the Government’s plans to achieve this, and it is through the ambitious programme of activity set out in the England Trees Action Plan – supported by £500m from the Nature for Climate Fund – that we can realise these huge objectives.”
The Action Plan will help see ‘an unprecedented’ number of trees planted, protected and managed to deliver more for society, nature, the climate and the economy, through:
- The England Woodland Creation Offer – a major new woodland creation grant to create over 10,000 hectares of new woodland over the lifetime of the grant. The grant will provide both greater financial incentives to plant and maintain trees and offer greater recognition of the benefits provided by woodland to people and nature. More guidance on eligibility and the application process will follow.
- Extending the Urban Trees Challenge Fund, providing further investment to support the planting and establishment of trees in urban areas.
- Providing additional funding as part of the Local Authority Treescape Fund to plant trees outside of woodlands for the benefit of local communities.
- Expanding the size of the nation’s forests by working with public and private land owners to create new woodlands under Forestry England’s management.
- Creating at least three new Community Forests providing greater public access to woodlands where they are needed most.