A range of woodland projects across England have received £6 million from the Trees Call to Action Fund to help create forestry jobs and improve access to nature, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Forestry Commission have announced today (Monday, May 30).

Grants of between $250,000 and £500,000 will support 12 projects across England in total.

These include new Woodland Creation Partnerships enabling large-scale woodland creation across rural and urban areas; projects growing and upskilling the forestry sector workforce; and projects encouraging community engagement with and access to trees and woodlands. 

It also includes a project by the Institute of Chartered Foresters to train the next generation of forestry leaders and offer an in-depth training course to ensure the forestry sector has the capacity, skills and knowledge to manage the trees and woodlands of the future.

Shireen Chambers, executive director, Institute of Chartered Foresters, said:

“The Institute of Chartered Foresters is delighted to have secured the funding to be able to develop and deliver these vital projects.

“At a time of increased political, social and economic focus on our trees and woodlands, both the leadership programmes and the UKFS (UK Forestry Standard) training series will ensure that foresters and allied professionals at all levels across the sector will be equipped to face the challenges of woodland planting targets, climate change mitigation, the biodiversity crisis and more.”

One project will also advise and support landowners in woodland management and creation.

“Investment in woodland creation is key to protecting our natural environment and achieving net zero by 2050,” said Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith.

“These inspiring projects will encourage large-scale woodland creation, build the forestry sector of the future and bring people across the country closer to nature.”