Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much funding the Government has allocated to planting trees in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021 to date.
We are committed to increasing tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by the end of this parliament. We published our ambitious England Trees Action Plan on the 18 May. This sets out our plans to at least treble tree planting rates in England as a key contribution to that 30,000ha UK commitment – this represents an unprecedented increase in woodland creation in England, supported by £500 million from the Nature for Climate Fund.
From that £500million, a series of funds will support the creation and management of woodland. This includes over £25 million for our Woodland Creation Partnerships this year, £6 million for the Urban Trees Challenge Fund for the next two years, a £2.7 million Local Authority Treescape Fund over this next year, and the £15.9 million England Woodland Creation Offer launched in spring 2021. This will support traditional methods of tree establishment as well as natural colonisation, agroforestry, and riparian planting.
In the planting season 2019/20, the Government made major commitments to help reach our tree planting targets. In January 2020, the Prime Minister announced £5.7 million to launch the new Northern Forest. In the Autumn Budget 2019, the Chancellor announced £50 million to help plant new woodlands through the Woodland Carbon Guarantee, and £10 million to plant new trees, including valuable street trees, in our towns and cities through the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, launched in May 2019.
For the last planting season (2020/21) we kick-started tree planting efforts through a number of initiatives including £12.1 million investment in expanding England's ten Community Forests; £1.4 million of planting along rivers through the Environment Agency; Support from the £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund for a range of charity projects to protect and plant trees.