DEFRA awards £2 million to projects investigating the best ways to boost tree numbers outside woodlands

Projects to learn ways to increase tree cover in communities across England and enhance biosecurity will receive a share of over £2 million in government funding, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has just announced.

The second phase of the Trees Outside Woodland Research and Development programme will fund projects testing the effectiveness of tree planting methods and approaches in non-woodland areas. This will help increase tree cover in non-woodland areas so that more, healthier trees can be planted in these areas in future, improving people’s health and wellbeing by giving them access to more nature and helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.

o £2 million has been awarded to projects investigating the best ways to boost tree numbers outside woodlands in areas including Chichester, Cornwall, Kent, Norfolk and Shropshire.
o Projects will test new ways to increase tree cover and strengthen biosecurity, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change and meet the government’s 2050 net zero ambitions.

Research projects funded by the second phase will:

o Test how to sustainably improve the capacity and biosecurity of locally grown tree planting stock, to ensure more trees can be planted closer to where people live.
o Research the most cost-effective and biosecure ways to plant, establish, and promote trees outside woods, enabling increases in non-woodland tree canopy cover.
o Focus on sharing this knowledge with Local Authorities to enable enhanced local delivery of healthy and thriving treescapes, and
o In the long term, help to increase tree cover within our local communities and deliver on commitments set out within the Environmental Improvement Plan to level up people’s access to nature and improve our mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The funding comes from HMT’s Shared Outcomes Fund – to find out more please visit GOV.UK.

For further information about the investment available to improve community tree cover across parts of England, please visit DEFRAs website.