Greater Manchester to benefit from a national £12.1million Trees for Climate plan creating 500hectares of new woodland by 2021

7 December 2020

In the next five months, City of Trees, will be one of the ten England’s Community Forests across the country planting trees, in a push to help deliver the English portion of the government’s commitment to increase tree planting to 30,000hectares per year, across the UK, by 2025..

The trees to be planted across winter 2020 and into 2021 will eventually store over 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and will also help in making local landscapes more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

For people in Greater Manchester the delivery programmes will offer a wide range of added benefits, unique to community forestry, including high levels of community engagement. 

These new ‘climate combatting’ woodlands across England will appear around towns and cities and will also build the pipeline of projects for community planting in future years. 

City of Trees is a key partner in this new programme called Trees for Climate which is being delivered by the partnership of ten Community Forest organisations that span the country, from Yorkshire to Somerset. An initial £12.1m of grant funding for the first planting session in 2020/21 has been secured from the Government’s Nature for Climate fund.

The funding will also create new jobs and secure existing jobs within the forestry sector and open up new opportunities for people seeking a career in the environment sector. 

Forestry Minister, Lord Goldsmith, said: “Through this exciting new programme we will build back greener, as more communities - particularly those in urban environments – will have access to nature, with real benefits for health and wellbeing.

 “Trees are the backbone of our urban and rural environments and essential in tackling the climate emergency. This vital programme will plant trees where they are most needed to stem flooding and provide more places for nature to thrive.”

Jessica Thompson, Director of City of Trees, said: “The Trees for Climate programme supported by Defra, presents a really special and unique time for City of Trees and Greater Manchester.  We’re absolutely delighted to secure this investment, and the opportunity to seriously increase the numbers of trees and woodlands across our region.  The impact of this will help to transform our neighbourhoods, support health and wellbeing, provide job opportunities, create places for nature and help tackle climate change. It’s just brilliant news for everyone that lives in, works and visits Greater Manchester.”

For Greater Manchester the Trees for Climate programme in 2020/21 will see City of Trees work across all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester on both public and private land, planting 115 hectares  this planting season (Nov - March) with over £2million of investment brought into the region.

Trees for Climate will help deliver against the goals in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and support Nature Recovery Networks across England. It has been supported by The Community Forest Trust and is being delivered through Cheshire West and Chester Council, the accountable body for the programme.

As well as funding the tree planting activity itself, the grant will enable each of the Community Forests to manage all aspects of the new woodland creation carefully, including community and landowner engagement as well as developing new approaches to long term woodland management, greater levels of sustainability, and finding innovative new models of woodland delivery that may help to shape the future of community forestry forever.

Extensive planning is already underway to ensure Trees for Climate starts to be delivered during the current tree-planting season – which runs from November through to March. More than 6,000 hectares of land has already been identified as suitable for planting, over the next five planting seasons to March 2025.  

There are still opportunities for landowners to get in touch with their local community forest to see if the land they have is suitable for the programme.