Government provides £44m for tree planting projects across England
The Government has allocated more than £44m to plant around 2,300 hectares of new woodland in the UK, in a bid to improve biodiversity and respond to the climate crisis.
The new woodland will build into 13 existing community forests across England, including the Humber and Mersey Forests as well as partners including the Northern Forest, National Forest and Great Northumberland Forest.
More than £44m from the Government’s £750 million Nature for Climate Fund will be used to plant diverse woodland across 2,300 hectares – equivalent to around 3,220 football pitches. The Government claims that diversifying the woodland will make them more resilient to climate impacts. The trees will also help reduce flooding and provide a domestic source of sustainable timber.
Lord Zac Goldsmith, Forestry Minister, said: “Our economies, livelihoods and wellbeing all rely on nature. As well as tackling the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss, this significant funding will create diverse treescapes across the country and improve the health and wellbeing of local communities by giving them more opportunities to enjoy nature on their doorstep.”
The funding builds towards an overall goal of trebling tree planting rates on the road to net-zero emissions by 2050. It is estimated the planting announced today will see 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide absorbed by 2050, valued at nearly £100m by the Government.
Nature and conservation charities have already expressed concern that the Government’s financing support for charities to date will stifle efforts to tackle climate change and protect nature over the coming years.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations estimates that around £4bn of support is needed by UK charities.
Prior to this, it was revealed that Government funding for bodies such as Natural England, the Environment Agency and National Parks had fallen steeply in recent years, leaving the UK at risk of failing to meet key green policy objectives.
The investigation, called Unchecked, found that the Environment Agency’s environmental protection budget has fallen by 62% in real terms since financial year 2010-2011, taking into account Government cuts, inflation and economic trends. Significant funding decreases were also recorded within the same timeframe at bodies including the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (32%), National Parks (25%) and Maritime Management Organisation (57%).
These financial strains are leaving environmental enforcement bodies and charities unable to complete the inspections and prosecutions necessary for the UK to meet the ambitions of policies such as the 25 Year Environment Plan.
In related news, a rewilding project in Scotland had reached its funding goal.
The Langholm Initiative confirmed last week that it had met a funding goal of £2.2m, which will enable the purchase of 2,415 hectares of moorland in southern Scotland.
As reported by the Guardian, this will enable the local community to reach an original goal of creating a 4,000-hectare nature reserve known as Tarras Valley.
© Faversham House Ltd 2023 edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.