The Big Tree Plant launched

Defra minister Jim Paice has launched a new partnership with various forestry bodies as part of the Big Tree Plant initiative.

Organisations such as the Tree Council, the Woodland Trust and Trees for Cities, will work in partnership with Defra and the Forestry Commission to plant trees in urban areas.

The four year initiative is part of Defra’s Structural Reform Plan and Business Plan and will cost £1m per year with the aim of getting local people in communities planting and caring for trees.

Funding for the Big Tree Plant is wholly from the Forestry Commission and had been secured "through efficiency savings and reprioritisation" aN FC representative said. "We're expecting to attract further investment in the campaign from other sources including the private sector," he added.

Paice said:  "The Big Tree Plant will use the power of the ‘Big Society’ to plant trees in areas where people want and need them.

"Using the enthusiasm of local communities and the knowledge of the groups that know most about trees and their unique benefits, we’ll help create neighbourhoods that we can be proud of."

Civic Voice president Griff Rhys-Jones commented:  "As president of Civic Voice, I welcome The Big Tree Plant.  Civic Voice works to make our cities, towns and villages more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive – all of which can be achieved through The Big Tree Plant.

"We all have a personal responsibility for where we live, and The Big Tree Plant is a great way for people to get together with their neighbours, civic society and local community groups to plant and care for more trees and improve the local environment for everyone.  Plant a tree, change the future and the future will thank you for it."

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