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Second round of £10m Urban Tree Challenge Fund open

Round of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund opens today (Mar 30), which enables local councils and community groups to apply for a share of £10m to fund tree planting in urban areas.

Opened by the Forestry Commission, the aim of the fund is to help finance the planting of more than 130,000 trees across England’s towns and cities.

Since its launch in May 2019, thirteen large scale projects have been awarded grants through Round One, to plant over 50,000 trees in urban areas.

The many benefits of urban tree planting include better health and wellbeing, including a deeper connection to the outdoors, reduced flood risk, noise reduction and a sense of community through green spaces.

As the grant will be delivered as a challenge fund, applicants are required to match funding by 50% either through money or labour.

Planting projects of between 150 and 5,000 small trees are invited to apply, with specific encouragement on those wanting to plant 500 or more.

Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith, said:

“Our immediate priority is rightly our response to the challenges posed by the coronavirus. But, although these are unprecedented times, we want to continue to uphold the nation’s commitment to the environment.

“We have made sure that the applications for round two of the Urban Challenge Tree Fund can be completed online so individuals are not putting themselves at risk, and I encourage anyone thinking of applying to do so in a safe way, using digital platforms to plan their application with colleagues if necessary.

“Our manifesto sets our ambition to have every new street lined with trees – and I am dedicated to working closely with the Forestry Commission to help make this vision a reality.”

Applications will close on May 31 and then will be processed by the Forestry Commission. Successful applicants of round two will not be expected to plant their trees until winter 2020/21.


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