The Environment Secretary has claimed the Government’s £6m plan to create a ‘Northern Forest’ would help deliver a ‘Green Brexit’.
The Prime Minister today announced £6m would go towards the creation of a new ‘Northern Forest’ along the M62 corridor.
The funds will support the Woodland Trust and Community Forest Trust in their ambition to plant more than 50 million trees from Liverpool to Hull over the next 25 years.
The two trusts estimate this new forest will generate more than £2bn for the country’s economy.
Theresa May’s announcement forms part of the Government’s upcoming 25 Year Environment Plan.
‘It is vital that we leave our planet in a better state than we found it, with cleaner air, stronger protections for animal welfare and greener spaces for everyone to enjoy,’ said Mrs May.
‘Progress is being made. We’re investing over £3bn in improving air quality, tackling marine pollution by banning harmful microbeads and increasing sentences for animal cruelty to five years.
‘But to create an environment fit for the future we can’t stop there, and that is why we are supporting the creation of this new Northern Forest and will shortly be setting out our ambitious vision to further support the environment and protect its good health for generations to come.’
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: ‘This new Northern Forest is an ambitious and exciting project that will create a vast ribbon of woodland cover in northern England stretching from coast to coast, providing a rich habitat for wildlife to thrive, and a natural environment for millions of people to enjoy.’
Mr Gove, one of the Government’s most outspoken supporters of exiting the European Union, went on to link the forest to Brexit.
‘This new forest will help us deliver a Green Brexit and help to deliver on our pledge to leave the environment in a better state than we found it,’ he said.
Austin Brady, director of conservation at the Woodland Trust, said: ‘The Northern Forest will accelerate the creation of new woodland and support sustainable management of existing woods right across the area.
‘Planting many more trees, woods and forests will deliver a better environment for all – locking up carbon on a large scale, boosting wildlife habitat and greening our towns and cities.
‘The Woodland Trust and Community Forests will use new and innovative mechanisms to engage communities and a wide range of partners in delivering the forest.’