Funding will support projects which are expanding woodland cover, providing jobs and addressing the forestry sector’s skills shortage, and increasing access to nature
A diverse range of woodland projects across England have received £6 million from the Trees Call to Action Fund to help create forestry jobs and improve access to nature, Defra and the Forestry Commission have announced.
The successful projects include one which will provide 450 training placements for people to learn the specialist skills required when managing ancient and other veteran trees; a project to create a 60-mile wooded corridor connecting the Wye Valley, Forest of Dean and Wyre Forest that will boost pine marten populations; and the NHS Forest project which helps healthcare sites to realise the health, wellbeing and biodiversity value of their green spaces.
Grants of between £250,000 and £500,000 will support 12 projects across England in total. These include six new Woodland Creation Partnerships enabling large-scale woodland creation across rural and urban areas; two projects growing and upskilling the forestry sector workforce; and three projects encouraging community engagement with and access to trees and woodlands.
The other projects include a project by the Institute of Chartered Foresters to train the next generation of forestry leaders and offer an in-depth training course to ensure the forestry sector has the capacity, skills and knowledge to manage the trees and woodlands of the future; and finally a project that will advise and support landowners in woodland management and creation.
Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith said:
Investment in woodland creation is key to protecting our natural environment and achieving net zero by 2050.
These inspiring projects will encourage large-scale woodland creation, build the forestry sector of the future and bring people across the country closer to nature.
Forestry Commission Chair Sir William Worsley said:
This Fund will play a hugely important role in addressing the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. It will also bring trees and woodlands closer to where people live, and create more green jobs in the forestry and allied sectors.
Congratulations to all the projects which will now receive funding – together we will grow trees, woods and forests to make the nation more resilient amidst our changing climate.
Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive at the Heritage Fund, said:
These projects are taking steps to mitigate the effects of climate change and we are delighted to help make that happen. By building strong partnerships and making sure that people are trained in vital skills, we will be better placed to meet future tree planting targets.
We can also enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits and the thriving nature that a natural landscape with more trees will bring.
All funded projects will build sector-wide capacity to deliver the England Trees Action Plan, the Government’s long-term plan for our trees, forests and woodlands. Funding for the Trees Call to Action Fund has come from the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund.
The Trees Call to Action Fund has been delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Defra and the Forestry Commission.