Tens of thousands of city trees to be planted

Thirteen projects in urban communities across England have been awarded a share of the £10 million in the first round of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund.

Across the country over 22,000 large trees and 28,000 small trees will be planted in urban areas, from Thanet to Middlesbrough, and Merseyside to Bristol. These will help areas improve health and wellbeing, as well as playing a crucial role in the fight against climate change, supporting the UK’s journey to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Government is committed to plant 30,000 hectares of trees a year, across the UK, by 2025, and the fund is helping increase canopy cover in and around our towns and cities where they bring a wide range of benefits.

Launched in May 2019, the £10 million scheme will see 130,000 trees planted across England’s towns and cities by 2021.

Photo: Forestry Commission

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, said: “Trees are vital in the fight against climate change, to tackle air pollution and help us achieve our net-zero target by 2050. But for local communities they are so much more. They allow green spaces to come together, help both physical and mental wellbeing, and connect children and young people with nature.,/h4>

“Our manifesto sets our ambition to have every new street lined with trees, and the Urban Tree Challenge Fund complements this ambition, benefitting thousands of people for years to come.”

Chair of the Forestry Commission, Sir Harry Studholme said: “It is such great news that the first year of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund has been so successful and able to reach so many places.

“The fund focuses on areas of high deprivation and low tree canopy cover where every tree planted has the change to provide the greatest impact.

“Not only do trees in urban areas help to improve wellbeing but they also offer benefits in many other ways like helping tackle climate change and mitigating flood risks. I look forward to seeing the second year of the fund re-opening for smaller scale planting later this year.”

Successful projects in the first round include:

  • The Trees for Cities project which will receive support for over 9,000 trees to be distributed across the country.
  • Over 8,000 trees will be planted by Slough Borough Council, almost 7,000 large trees will go to London Street Trees and 6,000 trees to The Mersey Forest.

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