Major woodlands expansion with £44.2m government funding

The investment will create larger and more diverse woodlands that will be more resilient to climate change as well as natural hazards such as wildfires, storms and flooding

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The government has announced more than £44.2 million of funding to plant millions of trees in communities across the country.

The investment will create larger, well-designed and more diverse woodlands that will be more resilient to climate change as well as natural hazards such as wildfires and storms.

They will help reduce the risk of floods in vulnerable areas, provide sustainable UK-grown timber and provide more areas for nature and biodiversity to thrive.

Under the latest funding, around 2,300 hectares of trees – equivalent to 3,220 football pitches – will be planted, helping reduce 600,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2050, valued at nearly £100 million.

England’s 13 Community Forests, including the Humber and Mersey Forests as well as partners including the Northern Forest, National Forest and Great Northumberland Forest, are set to benefit from the funding.

The announcement forms part of wider government action to recover and restore nature as part of the 25-Year Environment Plan and commitments to reach net zero by 2050.

Forestry Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith 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.”