New £6m fund to help expand woodland in England

The new £6 million Trees Call to Action Fund will fund partnerships to help create woodlands
The new £6 million Trees Call to Action Fund will fund partnerships to help create woodlands

A new £6 million government fund has opened for projects to protect trees, expand woodland and improve access to nature in England.

Grants of £250,000 to £500,000 will be awarded to 24 projects, at least three of which will be for new regional partnerships, the Forestry Commission said.

These will be set up to create woodlands at a large scale and improve people’s access to nature, following the Forest for Cornwall and Great Northumberland Forest partnerships.

Applications start from 3 November, with environmental charities, not-for-profits, local authorities and protected landscape bodies encouraged to apply

The Forestry Commission said funding will be targeted at regions, activities and costs which are not supported by other government funding for trees.

To increase the capacity and skills of the sector, the fund will also support projects to engage people with trees, create new jobs and develop skills and knowledge.

For example, this could be by developing training and placement programmes for new foresters and woodland managers.

The announcement will support progress towards the government’s commitment in the England Trees Action Plan to at least treble planting rates by the end of this parliament.

Forestry Commission Chief Executive Richard Stanford said: “To meet the climate and biodiversity crises we need to grow and manage more trees - this needs to be done as a national effort.

"This Fund will have a hugely important role in helping us realise these ambitions, as set out in the England Trees Action Plan.

“I would urge any prospective applicant to apply, together we will grow trees, woods and forests to make our nation more resilient for future generations.”

The fund will be delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Defra and the Forestry Commission.

Potential applicants can submit Expressions of Interest from 3 November.