New £6 million fund aims to increase woodland cover and create jobs

A new fund of £6 million that aims to create jobs, improve access to nature across the country and increase woodland cover will open for applications on Wednesday, November 3.

The ‘Trees Call to Action Fund’ was announced yesterday (Sunday, October 31). It will allocate funding to up to 24 regional or national projects manager by partnerships of environmental charities, not-for-profit organisations, local authorities and protected landscape bodies.

Grants of £250,000 to £50,000 will be awarded and targeted at regions, activities and costs which are not supported by other government funding for trees, aiming to increase community understanding of and access to trees and woodlands, and boost efforts to increase woodland cover in areas that need it most.

It will also support projects to engage people with trees, create new jobs and develop skills and knowledge, with the aim of increasing the capacity and skills of the sector.

In a statement announcing the fund, Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith said:

There has never been a more important time for trees and tree planting.

“This new fund will help fund regional and national partnerships of charities, local authorities and others to turn ambitions into actions, to engage communities and landowners in tree planting, and to develop skills to help deliver our England Trees Action Plan.”

The fund will be delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the forestry commission.

Applicants must submit an Expressions of Interest before noon on November 16. Full guidance on how to apply will be published by The Heritage Fund on the opening day of Wednesday, November 3.

“I would urge any prospective applicant to apply, together we will grow trees, woods and forests to make our nation more resilient for future generations,” added Richard Stanford, Forestry Commission chief executive.

“To meet the climate and biodiversity crises we need to grow and manage more trees – this needs to be done as a national effort so we are better connecting people with nature and creating more green jobs. This Fund will have a hugely important role in helping us realise these ambitions, as set out in the England Trees Action Plan,” he said.