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Organisations to plant 50,000 trees following £10m funding

The first round of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund has awarded £10m to thirteen projects in communities across England.

The £10m scheme, launched in May 2019, will see 130,000 trees planted by 2021, It comes in a bid to improve health and wellbeing in communities and help to fight climate change and support ambitions of net zero emissions by 2050.

The government has committed to planting 30,000 hectares of trees by 2025, with the funds providing a vital boost to increasing canopy cover in and around UK towns and cities where they bring a wide range of benefits.

Over 22,000 large trees and 28,000 small trees will be planted in areas ranging from Bristol to Merseyside in the first phase of the scheme.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said:

“Trees are vital in the fight against climate change, to tackle air pollution and help us achieve our net-zero target by 2050. But for local communities they are so much more. They allow green spaces to come together, help both physical and mental wellbeing, and connect children and young people with nature.

“Our manifesto sets our ambition to have every new street lined with trees, and the Urban Tree Challenge Fund complements this ambition, benefiting thousands of people for years to come.”

Developments in the first round include The Trees for Cities project which will help to fund the distribution of over 9,000 trees across the country.

Slough Borough Council will plant over 8,000 in the area as part of wider plans to tackle air pollution, reduce particulate matter levels and increase flood protection.

Almost 7,000 large trees will go to London Street Trees and 6,000 trees to The Mersey Forest, with a focus of recreation and health by improving the quality of access routes, promoting active travel and recreation. This aims to boost wellbeing and mental health by providing a greener neighbourhood that supports physical activity and healthy lifestyles.

Local authorities and larger organisations were invited to apply for phase one of the scheme, with the second phase, open to individual tree planters, set to launch in spring 2020

Successful applicants were: Middlesbrough 10,000 trees, Tree-ing Urban Northumberland, Slough Borough Council - TEC Urban Forest, London Street Trees, Thanet Community Forest School CIO, Space for Trees (Durham), Urban Trees in The Mersey Forest, Green Street Community Planting (Bristol and North Somerset), Trees for Cities (London and across England), City of Trees (Greater Manchester), Luton Borough Council, Plymouth City Council and Cornwall Council.


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