£12.1million fund for ten Community Forests, including Forest of Marston Vale Image By VRD AdobeStock_115439473

500 hectare planting boost for England’s Community Forests

The government announced today (6 December 2020) that over 500 hectares will be planted with trees across England’s ten Community Forests, from Yorkshire to Somerset.

Backed by £12.1 million of investment and the government added that this will also build the pipeline of projects for community planting in future years.

The new programme – Trees for Climate – will see trees planted in community forests across the country over the next five months.

When mature, the trees will eventually store over 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, playing an important role in the meeting the government’s net zero emissions by 2050 target.

The project will also reduce flood risk, increase sustainable UK grown timber, provide more places for nature and biodiversity to thrive, and increase people’s access to and enjoyment of woodland. The funding will also create new jobs and secure existing ones within the forestry and environmental sector, helping to boost local economies as part of a green recovery.

Forestry Minister, Lord Goldsmith, said:

“Through this exciting new programme we will build back greener, as more communities – particularly those in urban environments – will have access to nature, with real benefits for health and wellbeing.

“Trees are the backbone of our urban and rural environments and essential in tackling the climate emergency. This vital programme will plant trees where they are most needed to stem flooding and provide more places for nature to thrive.”

The programme is being delivered by a collaboration of ten Community Forest organisations, supported by the national charity The Community Forest Trust. The following Community Forests will carry out the planting:

  • The Forest of Marston Vale, Bedfordshire
  • Great Western Community Forest, covering the North Wessex Downs to the River Thames
  • The Greenwood Community Forest, west Nottinghamshire
  • The Mersey Forest, which covers Merseyside and North Cheshire
  • City of Trees, Greater Manchester
  • Forest of Avon Trust, which covers Bristol and Avon
  • HEYwoods, which covers Kingston upon Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Thames Chase Trust, which covers East London and South West Essex
  • White Rose Forest, which covers Leeds city region and North and West Yorkshire
  • Forest of Mercia, which covers Staffordshire and the West Midlands