Climate Action

130,000 trees to be planted in English towns and cities

The UK Government has committed to planting 130,000 trees in towns and cities.

  • 20 May 2019
  • Rachel Cooper

The UK Government has committed to planting 130,000 trees in towns and cities.

A new £10 million plan will see more than 130,000 trees planted across England’s towns and cities, Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced today.

The initiative, which will be administrated by the Forestry Commission, will be open to individuals, local authorities, charities and NGOs.

Through the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, grants will be made 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.

Environment 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.”

Planting more trees is crucial in the fight against climate change, not only because they store carbon, but because they improve health and wellbeing in urban areas by reducing flood risk and creating green space communities for people to come together.

Last month, a new report found that global deforestation had wiped out an area the size of Belgium. The report found that the tropics lost 12 million hectares of tree cover in 2018, the fourth-highest annual loss since records began in 2001.

Chair of England’s Community Forests and Director of The Mersey Forest, Paul Nolan said: “There is an increasing understanding of the role that trees and woodlands play in helping to make our towns and cities better places for people and nature to thrive. We need to be planting many more trees over the next 25 years, and England’s Community Forests welcome this new investment that is being announced by the government.”

This announcement forms part of the UK Government’s commitment for a sustainable future under their 25 Year Environmental Plan.