The Forest of Marston Vale Trust has been allocated £2.3M in funding by Defra to plant trees and create new woodlands under plans to increase access to nature for communities across England.

The funding of the Trees for Climate programme will see the Forest of Marston Vale Trust working with local authority partners, private landowners, and community organisations to deliver 120 hectares of tree planting across Bedfordshire.

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 from the Nature for Climate Fund of £44.2 million. These projects will expand woodlands near our cities, towns, villages and rivers – giving more people greater access to nature and improving health and wellbeing as well as playing an important role in Government ambitions to treble tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament and reach net zero.

Large, small, well-designed and diverse woodlands created thanks to this funding will be more resilient to climate change, as well as natural hazards such as wildfire and storms – playing an important role in helping us adapt to a warmer world. They will help to reduce flood risk in vulnerable areas, provide sustainable UK grown timber and provide more places for nature and biodiversity to thrive.

Lord Zac Goldsmith, Forestry Minister, said: “Our economies, livelihoods and well-being 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.”

James Russell, Forest Director at the Forest of Marston Vale Trust, said: “Trees and woodlands deliver an incredible range of benefits and Defra’s continued funding of the Trees for Climate programme gives the Forest of Marston Vale Trust an unprecedented opportunity to work with local partners and landowners to get more trees in the ground.”

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