Tree planting is boosted by trust after £300,000 grant for project - The Coventry Observer

Tree planting is boosted by trust after £300,000 grant for project

Coventry Editorial 17th Oct, 2022   0

THE WOODLAND Trust has provided funding totalling £300,000 to help the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) boost tree-planting across the region.

The funding will be used to establish the West Midlands Forest Partnership so organisations can reach their tree-planting targets by identifying ways to co-ordinate a variety of different projects and programmes and complete the largest I-Tree Eco study in the UK.

The move – prioritising areas with the lowest levels of urban tree canopy cover – will see at least 4,000 native trees planted at eight sites, combating climate change in the process.

Ultimately, the WMCA aims to increase the region’s forestry cover from 1.5 per cent today to 13 per cent – the equivalent of planting an additional 5.7million trees by 2026 – supporting its #WM2041 ambition to be a net zero region within the next two decades.

The funding is one of six awards being made around the UK from the Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund following £2.1million worth of support from Amazon’s Right Now Climate Fund.

Coun Ian Courts, WMCA portfolio lead for the environment, energy and HS2 and leader of Solihull Council, said: “I am a passionate supporter of tree planting both as a critical part of our work to improve our natural environment, but also to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“The WMCA has supported a number of initiatives, including its Virtual Forest platform, that encourages tree planting across the region.

“Local authorities have also been working hard to reach targets – in Solihull we have been planting 25,000 trees each year with the aim of a quarter of a million within the decade.”

He added the Emergency Tree Fund and working with the Woodland Trust provided exciting opportunities.

Dr Darren Moorcroft, the Woodland Trust’s chief executive, said the funding would help local authorities overcome barriers which prevent them from taking action, through using trees and woods, to help address the twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss.

“With the droughts this year, it has shown us it has never been more important to look at how we adapt to the changing climate in this country.

“A key part of this will be planting more trees and protecting what we have for the many benefits they bring – they help purify our air, cool our towns and cities, make land more resilient to combating flooding and enhancing wellbeing.”


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