Woodlands to be expanded with £44.2m government funding

Millions of trees are set to be planted in communities across England after the government injected £44.2m into a biodiversity scheme.

As past of the £750m Nature for Climate Fund, the reforestation projects will expand well-designed woodlands which are able to cope with climate change, wildfires and storms.

13 Community Forests will benefit from the funding, including the Humber and Mersey forests and partners the Northern Forest and Great Northumberland Forest.

green grass and trees during daytime

Lord Zac Goldsmith, Forestry Minister, said: ‘Our economies, livelihoods and wellbeing all rely on nature.

‘As well as tackling the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss, this significant funding will create diverse treescapes across the country and improve the health and wellbeing of local communities by giving them more opportunities to enjoy nature on their doorstep.’

Collectively, 2,200 hectares of trees will be planted this year, or the equivalent of 3,220 football pitches, which the government says will improve access to nature and people’s wellbeing.

It’s estimated this figure could result in 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide absorbed by 2050, valued at nearly £100m and helping to reach net-zero targets.

This move could also create more green jobs within the forestry and environmental sectors and contribute to planning and regeneration strategies of local authorities.

Plans are concentrated in areas where woodland cover is lowest and tree planting is focused towards more deprived communities to help deliver the government’s Levelling Up agenda.

There are further plans for local authority support through the LA Tree and Woodland Strategies toolkit set to launch in September in partnership with the Tree Council, Fera, Forestry Commission and Forest Research.

Sir William Worsley, Forestry Commission Chair, said: ‘The social, environmental and economic benefits of being in woodlands are well-documented, helping local communities to be happier, healthier and more pleasant places to live.

‘It is a personal mission of mine to make sure as many people as possible get to experience these benefits. This funding will ensure we plant trees in areas close to where people live, as well as providing job opportunities in new woodland creation through planting, establishing and managing trees.’

Photo by Deb Barnes


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top