National Trust to plant 20 million trees over ten years

The plan means 17% of land the charity cares for will be covered in woodland – an increase from the current 10% (Photo: LPA/REX/Shutterstock)
The plan means 17% of land the charity cares for will be covered in woodland – an increase from the current 10% (Photo: LPA/REX/Shutterstock)

One of the UK's biggest woodland expansion and tree planting projects has been unveiled by the National Trust as part of plans to become net zero.

Locking up carbon by maintaining peat bogs, investing in renewable energy and reducing the carbon footprint are among measures announced on Thursday (9 January).

Of noteworthy importance is the charity's plan to plant 20 million new trees within ten years.

More than 18,000 hectares of woodland – an area equivalent to one and a half times the size of Manchester or 42 Sherwood Forests - will be planted.



This will stretch across the nation to lock up 300,000 tonnes of carbon – equivalent to the electricity output of 370,000 homes a year.

This will mean that 17 percent of land the charity cares for will be covered in woodland – an increase from the current 10 percent.



Seventeen percent is the figure required nationwide if the government is to hit its own net zero target by 2050.

The National Trust has also called on the government to step up its commitment to increasing woodland cover, after it emerged the UK is lagging behind its own tree planting target.

National Trust’s Director General Hilary McGradyy said: “By cutting our own emissions and storing more carbon, the National Trust will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

“The independent panel, the Committee on Climate Change, commissioned by the government, recommended the creation of woodland as an important part of the changes to land use needed to mitigate against the nature crisis.

“I am pleased to say that by 2030 we will establish 20 million trees, creating 18,000 hectares of new woodland.

“Woodlands help with flood prevention, they provide habitat for all sorts of nature and wildlife, and they are the backdrop to the adventures of future generations.”

As an organisation, the National Trust owns 255,000ha of land in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.



Sixty percent of this land is let out in the form of whole farms.