Ambitious plans by Nottinghamshire County Council to plant 250,000 trees across the county by 2027 have been strengthened after securing £1.7m from the government for the scheme.
Greenwood Community Forest will manage the £1.7m grant through the national Trees for Climate programme, which the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is funding.
Over the last year, the council has planted 60 hectares of new woodland across seven sites within Greenwood Community Forest, an area that covers large swathes of West Nottinghamshire, including Sherwood Forest and green spaces in Mansfield, Eastwood, Nottingham and Attenborough.
The largest planting site was the ex-Rufford Colliery site in Rainworth, where 16 hectares of woodland have been planted to help reduce flood risk, provide more places for nature to thrive and produce sustainable timber.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s Environment Ambassador, Councillor Mike Adams, said: “It is terrific our council has secured this funding worth nearly £2m from the government’s Nature for Climate Fund for our tree-planting campaign across Greenwood Community Forest.
“Our target to plant 250,000 trees across the next five years is ambitious, but we’ve had a flying start, and I’m looking forward to getting many more trees into the ground over the next year.
“These trees will bring many rewards for local communities, including improving people’s health and wellbeing, providing a store carbon, and helping mitigate climate change.”
The council is currently examining sites within the Greenwood Community for planting over the next year after securing the funding from the government.
It is hoped that approximately 90 hectares of natural woodland will be planted over the 2022-23 planting season, starting in November 2022 and ending in March 2023.
Landowners and farmers within Greenwood Community Forest can help the campaign by offering their land for planting – the council can provide grants that cover up to 100% of tree planting costs and 15 years of maintenance costs.
Councillor Tom Smith, Greenwood Community Forest Champion, said: “We’re urging any individual or organisation with land suitable for tree planting within the forest and interested in getting involved in the next phase of planting to get in touch with our team.
“Our planting efforts so far have been great success stories, with thousands of trees efficiently planted at sites including the ex-Rufford Colliery in Rainworth, Bestwood Country Park and Vicar Water Country Park.
“Landowners and managers with green space available for this exciting project will be helping create well-designed and diverse woodlands, more resilient to climate change and natural hazards such as wildfire and storms. “
If you are an individual or organisation with land suitable for tree planting in the next phase and are interested in getting involved, please contact us at 0115 9932 600 or email@example.com
Across the country, around 2,300 hectares of trees – equivalent to around 3,220 football pitches – will be planted as part of this year’s total funding allocation of £44.2 million for Trees for Climate.
Lord Zac Goldsmith, Forestry Minister, said:
“Our economies, livelihoods and wellbeing all rely on nature.
“As well as tackling the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss, this significant funding will create diverse treescapes across the country and improve the health and wellbeing of local communities by giving them more opportunities to enjoy nature on their doorstep.”