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Coverage on government tree planting commitments

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Trees from above showing deforestation
The Forestry Commission’s statistical reports on tree planting and woodlands demonstrate a 2,000 ha increase in woodland area in 2021 in comparison to 2020.

There has been coverage in the Independent criticising government pledges to Net Zero in the lead up to the UN climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow, particularly in relation to tree planting.

The statistics in question are the Forestry Commission’s statistical reports on tree planting figures and woodlands, which cover the latest tree planting figures and an overview of our nation’s trees and woodlands. The area of woodland in England at 31 March 2021 is 1,320 thousand hectares (10.1% of the country) – this is 2 thousand hectares more than last year’s figure.

A Defra spokesperson said:

We are committed to trebling tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament. The Government’s new landmark England Trees Action Plan will deliver unprecedented rates of tree planting, backed up by £500m of Nature for Climate funding and new flexible grants to provide greater financial incentives for farmers and landowners for woodland creation.

We are creating diverse treescapes across the country which will benefit wildlife, the environment and people’s wellbeing.

In June we opened the England Woodland Creation Offer, a new fund offering increased payment rates for woodland creation, particularly where new woodlands will create additional benefits such as biodiversity and water quality. The newly published England Trees Action Plan aims to see the current planting trends for woodlands made up of mostly native broadleaf trees continue, given the additional benefits they provide for nature by supporting native insects, birds and other animals.

Planting and establishing more domestic trees will play an important role in supporting the green economy, levelling up rural areas and creating thousands of new jobs.

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  1. Comment by David J posted on

    We are already seeing farms in Wales being bought above market price by city firms for tree planting. What about the wellbeing of the local indigenous population who are perhaps being forced from their localities by this. I'm sure it will happen or is happening in England. Does the government tree planting commitments take this into account?

  2. Comment by John W. Baxter posted on

    The inflexibility of the Forestry Commission to accept areas less than 1ha. in total in submissions has prevented us from making a submission to plant riverside trees under the Defra scheme via the Forestry Commission......Lord help us!.......I have given up with bureaucratic fatigue, falling at the first fence......of many.
    Please give us a down and dirty straightforward no messing alternative and the country will be planted over overnight!.

  3. Comment by Robert Nichols posted on

    BoJo promised millions of trees in the tory manifesto as usual the only fitting thing to do with it was to tear it into squares & use it in the outside lav

  4. Comment by Michael Desmond Walters posted on

    Abort the unnecesary HS2 project. Why bang-on about tree planting when killing off so many ancient woodlands. I deleted my covid app, can't wait to delete this government.

  5. Comment by Stuart posted on

    So who will benefit out of all the tree, once they reach maturity, and ready for processing in to timber , ie for the construction industry?. No one puts that amount of money in to something, without expecting a profit.