New urban tree fund for planting and upkeep of 130,000 trees

The Government has announced a new £10 million fund to plant 130,000 trees in English towns and cities.

Image: MBoner45 (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Image: MBoner45 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Administered by the Forestry Commission, the Urban Tree Challenge Fund will make grants available over the next two years to green urban areas and help meet the government’s target to plant one million urban trees by 2022.

The grants, to fund the planting of trees and the first three years of their care, require match funding.

Individuals, local authorities, charities and NGOs can all apply, with the scheme opening for applications on 23 May 2019.

Defra secretary Michael Gove said: "Trees are vital in the fight against climate change, which is why we must go further and faster to increase planting rates.

"We need trees lining the streets of our cities and towns, not only to green and shade them but to ensure that we remain connected to the wonders of the natural world and the health and wellbeing benefits that it brings us."

The scheme will support projects which can provide the greatest environmental and social benefits. A map will be available to check eligibility before applying.

Forestry Commission chair Sir Harry Studholme said: "The fund is an important part of the work that the Forestry Commission is doing to expand England’s tree and woodland cover.

It allows us to plant more trees much closer to where people live and work, and where the many benefits of trees make the most difference. We look forward to lots of new planting happening this autumn."

The launch of the fund forms part of the Government’s Year of Green Action, a year-long drive intended to help people to connect with, protect and enhance nature.

This year it will also consult on a new English Tree Strategy, intended to accelerate woodland creation.

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