The creation of Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest has been announced today (June 23), by Defra, England’s Community Forests and Plymouth City Council, as part of a government drive to see tree planting rates treble in England by the end of this Parliament.

This project will be the first newly created Community Forest supported through the Nature for Climate Fund (NCF) and join England’s Community Forest network.

The scheme will receive NCF funding to develop canopy cover across the city and plant up to 500ha of woodland by 2025, which is expected to more than treble in size to 1600ha by 2034.

Plymouth will plant up to 25ha in the first year of this project and receive up to £480,000 in funding from the NCF funded Trees for Climate.

Creation of green jobs

Green jobs, training and skill development will come from the project for young people, who will be invited to lead on aspects of the new Community Forest, from naming it to developing its design, management and strategy.

Under Defra’s England Trees Action Plan, this project is the first of at least three new Community Forests to be created in areas most at need and is in line with the ambition to meet net zero emissions by 2050 – by 2025 England’s community forests will contribute over 6,700ha to woodland creation ambitions.

The project also supports Plymouth City Council’s Plan for Trees scheme, which aims to help trees in urban areas become fit for purpose, resilient to the challenges of climate change and disease, and adaptable to whatever new challenges the future may hold.

Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith said:

I am delighted to welcome Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest to the Community Forest network. Joining this network will enable Plymouth and South Devon to receive key support from the Nature for Climate Fund through Trees for Climate funding to plant trees and help rewild areas that are most in need.

“The health and wellbeing benefits are some of the most important reasons we need to be making more space for trees.”