A £7.8 million fund to support local authorities with the new staff and expertise needed to kickstart woodland creation and tree planting plans is now open.

The Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund will provide at least 50 local authorities with financial support to bring on board the professional expertise they need to drive tree planting and woodland creation commitments.

Delivered by the Forestry Commission in partnership with Defra as part of the £750 million Nature for Climate Fund, successful applicants to the fund will be awarded up to £150,000 each.

Available to Local Authorities across England, newly trained or employed staff could include project managers, woodland creation officers, community engagement officers, funding consultants, or specialist advisors, such as landscape architects or archaeologists.

Together, the staff will focus on developing planting plans and applications for capital funding in 2023/2024 and 2024/2025, speeding up the delivery of new woodlands.

Research

Sir William Worsley, Forestry Commission chair, said:

“By investing in tree planting and woodland creation, local authorities can play a pivotal role in addressing the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

“The Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund will help local authorities across England to turn aspirations into actions.

"This fund will help to increase the number of trained and experienced staff and expand our nation’s much-loved treescapes so everyone can benefit from the social, environmental and economic benefits they bring.”