The UK Government has announced the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, offering grants worth £10m over two years to plant over 130,000 across England’s town and cities.
The announcement was made by Environment Secretary Michael Gove and is part of the government’s target of planting one million urban trees by 2022.
The scheme will be administered by the Forestry Commission, and is open to:
- local authorities
- charities and NGOs.
The fund will be open this week for applications, and a map will be available to check eligibility before applying.
Grants are designed to fund the planting of trees and the first three years of their care “to ensure they can flourish into the future”.
The grant will be delivered as a challenge fund, and therefore requires match funding from those who apply.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “We need trees lining the streets of our cities and towns, not only to green and shade them but to ensure that we remain connected to the wonders of the natural world and the health and wellbeing benefits that it brings us.”
Sir William Worsley, the Government’s ‘Tree Champion’, said: “The benefits of planting urban trees are endless, and I encourage anyone with the ability to apply for this fund to get involved and help green our towns and cities.”
Paul Nolan, Chair of England’s Community Forests and Director of The Mersey Forest, added: “We need to be planting many more trees over the next 25 years, and England’s Community Forests welcome this new investment that is being announced by the government.”
Year of Green Action
The announcement of the fund forms part of the government’s ‘Year of Green Action‘, a year-long drive to help people to connect with, protect and enhance nature. This in itself is part of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan “to instill a legacy for the future, with a focus on children and young people”.
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