New funding worth nearly £750,000 will diversify the UK's domestic seed source supply and reduce the need to import seeds from abroad.
Domestic tree seed production is to be ramped up and biosecurity enhanced with new government funding and measures announced today (22 May).
The next round of the Domestic Seed Sourcing Grant is set to be allocated, with nearly £750,000 awarded to boost domestic tree seed production.
The grant is designed to enhance the quantity, quality and diversity of tree seed sources in England.
Most tree seed planted in the UK is of British origin, but evidence suggests that British seed sources may struggle to meet future demand across all species and there are known to be global shortages of tree seed.
The grant will boost domestic tree seed production and support green jobs, helping meet the increased demand for trees.
Trudy Harrison, Forestry Minister, said the funding would improve the diversity of England’s seed supply, increasing the range of species.
She said: "This will be crucial for creating diverse and resilient woodlands, which are better able to adapt to future climate conditions as well as emerging pests and diseases.
"Increasing seed supply will also be essential to meeting our target to treble tree planting rates by the end of this parliament."
Nicola Spence, Chief Plant Health Officer, added: "A healthy, high quality, and diverse treescape is integral to meet our target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050."
Eligible activities for the grant include planning and planting of new seed stands - the groups of trees in the landscape from which seed is collected - as well as planning and planting of new seed orchards.
Those who manage existing seed stands can also apply for the grant.