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Michael Gove launches fund to plant trees in urban areas

Environment secretary Michael Gove has announced the launch of a new £10 million fund to plant more than 130,000 trees across towns and cities in England.

The Urban Tree Challenge Fund will be open to individuals, local authorities, charities and community groups to plant trees in urban areas.

The scheme itself will be administered by the Forestry Commission and according to the government, will support projects which can provide the greatest environmental and social benefits.

Trees in urban areas can help improve health and wellbeing, connect people with the outdoors, absorb noise, reduce flood risk, lower temperatures through shading, and create green spaces for communities to come together.

The fund will be open this week for applications.

The launch 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.

It also forms part of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan to instill a legacy for the future, with a focus on children and young people.

‘Trees are vital in the fight against climate change, which is why we must go further and faster to increase planting rates,’ said Mr Gove.

‘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.’

The chair of the Forestry Commission, Sir Harry Studholme commented: ‘I am delighted the Forestry Commission have been asked to deliver the Urban Tree Challenge Fund. The fund is an important part of the work that the Forestry Commission is doing to expand England’s tree and woodland cover.

‘It allows us to plant more trees much closer to where people live and work, and where the many benefits of trees make the most difference. We look forward to lots of new planting happening this autumn.’

 

Photo by Policy Exchange

 

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart

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