0 New £4m fund to help spur on mass tree planting

The government has unveiled a cash boost of nearly £4m to reach its target of 30,000 hectares of new trees per year by 2025.

The fund consists of £2.5m for trees to be planted in urban and rural areas, with an aim to tackle climate change and create new habitats for wildlife.

Led by DEFRA, this will see five pilot studies delivered by Local Authorities to develop new approaches to planting trees outside woodlands over the next few years.

This could include schemes such as agroforestry and hedgerow management, or planting trees from locally collected seed, the department said.

A further £1.4m will be injected into the government's Nature for Climate fund, which aims to plant 850,000 trees near rivers to help reduce flood risk.

The 'woodlands for water' funding will support projects such as 17,000 new trees at ten sites across Devon and Cornwall, which will create habitats and improve water quality by reducing surface run-off.

DEFRA's forestry minister, Lord Goldsmith said the new initiatives would 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," he added.

"Trees are the backbone of our environments, and increasing planting is an effective way both to tackle climate change and stem the appalling collapse of biodiversity."

It comes as the government recently launched its agriculture transition plan, changes to farming which will be brought in over a period of seven years.

The Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMS) will be introduced to incentivise sustainable farming practices while boosting the environment.

Two components of the scheme - the Landscape Recovery and Local Nature Recovery - will pay farmers for woodland and tree planting.

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Image: Scottish Forestry

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