44,000 trees to be planted in urban areas

Thousands of trees will be planted near schools and healthcare centres and in areas with fewer trees and higher social deprivation, as the Urban Tree Challenge Fund has re-opened for applications.

Across the country, 44,000 large trees will be planted in towns and cities to help support areas to improve health and wellbeing and help connect people to the outdoors.

Evidence from Forest Research shows the majority of adults surveyed agreed that their level of happiness when in nature has increased compared to before the pandemic. The new trees will also play a crucial role in the fight against climate change, supporting the UK’s journey to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and commitment to increase tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares of trees a year by 2025.

Over the next two years, up to £6 million will be available for planting in addition to necessary maintenance payments. The grants are administered by the Forestry Commission, and successful applicants are match-funding the money they receive.

The Defra announcement comes ahead of the government setting out its wider plans on how it intends to deliver on its tree planting commitment. It is expected that a new action plan for trees and woodland will be published shortly to outline how government will plant new high-quality, well-managed trees and woodlands and improve the condition and resilience of existing ones.

Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “I am delighted to announce the reopening of this hugely successful fund, made possible by £6 million from our Nature for Climate Fund. Ahead of our forthcoming ambitious action plan for trees, woodland and forestry, and to complement our manifesto ambition to have every new street lined with trees, the Urban Tree Challenge Fund provides a fantastic example of how trees can be planted, managed and enjoyed to provide the greatest impact - in areas where they are needed most.”

Event Diary

The Security Event is set to be the first major exhibition to take place in the sector when it opens its doors on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham and for the first time it will also encompass the National Cyber Security Show.

digitech21 will seek to demystify the increasingly complex technology landscape and will showcase a host of public sector best practice case studies and the very best solution providers, each of whom are helping organisations to transform and improve the way in which the public sector delivers services to the citizen.