The government announced yesterday a £12.1 million plan to invest in England’s forests. The plans which include two of Yorkshire’s forest will see trees planted in community forests over the next five months. The plan is a part of the governments zero emissions target for 2050. Mature trees will eventually store 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is a big help to targets. As well as this target, the initiative is helping reduce flood risks and increase sustainability in the UK timber industry.
The new funding will be a real boost to the economy as well as it will create new jobs and secure existing ones. Two Yorkshire forests that will be included in this new plan are Heywoods, situated in East Riding of Yorkshire, and White Rose Forest, which covers Leeds city region and North and West Yorkshire.
The cash will come from the Government’s £640 million Nature for Climate Fund announced in March.
Speaking about the new programme Forestry Minister, Lord Goldsmith, said: “Through this exciting new programme we will build back greener, as more communities – particularly those in urban environments – will have access to nature, with real benefits for health and wellbeing.”
“Trees are the backbone of our urban and rural environments and essential in tackling the climate emergency. This vital programme will plant trees where they are most needed to stem flooding and provide more places for nature to thrive.”
Also, Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest and the Chair of England’s Community Forests, said: “Our Trees for Climate programme will plant millions more trees around England’s town and cities, targeted at areas where they can make the greatest difference, in particular to local quality of life and levels of health and wellbeing.
“The national network of Community Forests has been working for over 25 years to bring nature closer to people and local communities and is perfectly placed to deliver real change, on the ground.”
The Chair of the Forestry Commission, Sir William Worsley, said: “This exciting new programme will benefit local communities all across England – helping to increase access to nature, creating much needed jobs in the environmental sector and bringing invaluable benefits to people’s health and wellbeing.
“The £12.1 million boost will be a huge help both for getting trees in the ground, but also enabling each of the Community Forests to ensure they are well-managed in the long term, making sure these new woods can thrive to the fullest extent.”
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Kemi Badenoch, said: “This investment will support growth right across England by creating new local jobs. It will also reduce flood risk, improve air quality and help make areas more attractive places to live. We are committed to supporting Britain to build back better and greener – and projects like this play a key role in doing so.”
The full list of community forest includes:
1. The Forest of Marston Vale, Bedfordshire
2. Great Western Community Forest, covering the North Wessex Downs to the River Thames
3. The Greenwood Community Forest, west Nottinghamshire
4. The Mersey Forest, which covers Merseyside and North Cheshire
5. City of Trees, Greater Manchester
6. Forest of Avon Trust, which covers Bristol and Avon
7. Heywoods, which covers Kingston upon Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire
8. Thames Chase Trust, which covers East London and South West Essex
9. White Rose Forest, which covers Leeds city region and North and West Yorkshire
10. Forest of Mercia, which covers Staffordshire and the West Midlands
The new strategy will help shape the economy as well as the climate, nature, and people. England Tree Strategy was consulting the government on how to accelerate tree planting and improve the management of existing woodland.