The Government has announced £3.9m of funding to help plant hundreds of thousands of new trees across the country.
A pot of £2.5m of this fund will go towards five council-delivered pilot studies. Led by Defra, Natural England and The Tree Council, they will develop innovative approaches to planting trees outside woodlands over the next two and a half years.
The remaining £1.4m has been awarded to the Environment Agency to fund ‘woodlands for water’. This consists of 15 projects to plant over 850,000 trees that will protect around 160km of river and help to reduce the risk of flooding to over 500 properties.
‘We are going to have to break down the barriers to planting trees outside of woodlands if we are to deliver our ambitious tree planting commitments,’ said forestry minister Lord Goldsmith.
‘Trees are the backbone of our urban and rural environments, and increasing planting is an effective way both to tackle climate change and stem the appalling collapse of biodiversity.
‘These ambitious new initiatives will help deliver tree planting on an unprecedented scale. They will help to regenerate our urban areas, as well as our watercourses and create a network of green corridors for both people and wildlife to thrive.’
Sara Lom, CEO The Tree Council, commented: ‘We are delighted to be working with local authority partners at the heart of this important project, in line with our mission to bring people together, to find creative solutions to establish more trees in our communities in a practical and sustainable way.’
Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd, added: ‘This £1.4m fund is one part of the wide range of measures to improve the nation’s resilience to the impacts of climate change.
‘It will accelerate efforts to reach net zero and help achieve the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan goals for nature through effective nature-based solutions.
‘The projects chosen will provide invaluable benefits to communities and our environment – from reducing flood risk and protecting homes, to capturing carbon, improving water quality and encouraging biodiversity.’