The West of England is one of just six local initiatives across the UK to receive a major cash boost to increase tree cover in the area.
It will receive almost £260K from the Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund – a pot of cash awarded in grants to local authorities across the country to plant trees and create green spaces.
The funding is part of an overall £2.1 million package of support from the Amazon’s Right Now Climate Fund.
The Enduring Roots and New Shoots project which covers the West of England – including the likes of Bath and Bristol – aims to plant more than 24,000 native trees, increasing green space and boosting local ecosystems. The collective vision is to double tree cover.
Dr Darren Moorcroft, the Woodland Trust’s Chief Executive, said this funding will help local authorities overcome barriers which prevent them from taking action, through using trees and woods, to help address the twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss.
“With the droughts this year, it has shown us it has never been more important to look at how we adapt to the changing climate in this country.
“A key part of this will be planting more trees and protecting what we have for the many benefits they bring – they help purify our air, cool our towns and cities, make land more resilient to combating flooding and enhancing well-being.
“Whilst we can plant and protect trees on our land, we cannot tackle this alone, and it needs to be done in a strategic way across large areas.
“This funding, thanks to generous support from Amazon, gets to the heart of the matter by targeting councils. With so many financial strains it can be tough for them to take action in this area. The Emergency Tree Fund will give them the tools to create and plan for more woodland, combining our expertise in unlocking land for woodland creation and management – making a difference to people’s lives on a large scale.”
Other participating councils in this latest raft from funding include Doncaster Council, which is looking to increase tree cover from 12.6 per cent to 17 per cent, and the West Midlands Combined Authority which is looking to plant 5.7 million trees by 2026. And Scotland’s International Environment Centre (University of Stirling), Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in Northern Ireland and Wrexham County Borough Council in Wales are also among those to benefit.
“The Woodland Trust has a history of science-based and community-focused work that has a meaningful and lasting impact on biodiversity in the UK, which is why we have chosen to support them as one of our first UK Right Now Climate Fund commitments”, said Zak Watts, Director of Europe Sustainability, Amazon.
“Alongside co-founding the Climate Pledge in 2019 and making a commitment to achieve net-zero carbon by 2040, we are making significant contributions to nature-based nature-based solutions to supplement our own carbon-reduction efforts and help restore and preserve the natural world. We are proud to support the charity’s Emergency Tree Fund and look forward seeing 450,000 more trees planted in local authorities across the UK.”
The Woodland Trust Emergency Tree Fund is one of the first projects in the UK receiving support through Amazon’s $100 million Right Now Climate Fund. With €20 million committed to projects across the UK and Europe, the fund has been set up to conserve, restore and improve forests, wetlands and grasslands, protecting wildlife habitats, biodiversity and quality of life for communities.
The Woodland Trust continues to support the 12 local authorities to plant new trees and woodlands which it supported through phase one – developing tree strategies, map canopy cover, establish new tree nurseries, engage landowners and communities and deliver volunteer programmes. This second phase will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
More on the Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund from last year’s package is here: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/press-centre/2021/03/emergency-tree-fund/
Notes to editors
About the Woodland Trust
The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.
The Trust has three key aims:
- protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable
- restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life
- Plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife. Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 29,000 hectares. Access to its woods is free so everyone can benefit from woods and trees.
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