Forestry Commission begins to announce winners of Round 2 of the £10 million Urban Tree Challenge Fund

More than 50 projects led by community and volunteer groups, councils and individuals have been awarded a share of a £10 million pot to increase tree numbers in urban areas through small-scale planting projects.

The funding has been awarded as part of the second and final round of the Forestry Commission’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund.

The second round will result in the planting of over 84,000 trees in towns and cities across England. The new trees will provide benefits to health and wellbeing, connect people with the outdoors, improve biodiversity, as well as play a crucial role in the fight against climate change.

The announcement comes ahead of National Tree Week, the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, which is taking place between Saturday 28 November and Sunday 6 December 2020, and means that there will be a combined total of up to 134,000 new trees planted across England’s towns and cities, which surpasses the Fund’s original target to plant 130,000 trees.

The full list of successful projects has not yet been published by the Forestry Commission, but we’ll bring you details as soon as this becomes available.

Successful projects include:

o The Darlington Forest project in County Durham, which will extend an existing green corridor in the area with the planting of 6,800 trees to improve the environment for wildlife as well as local communities. The area runs alongside the track-bed of the first passenger steam railway and will help showcase Darlington’s heritage.

o 7,500 new trees in Eastbourne, East Sussex, to form part of a wider programme of natural environment improvement across the area.

o 952 new trees across two sites for the Christchurch project in Dorset. The planting of native species will provide a natural traffic noise and pollution buffer, improve their look and provide a refuge for wildlife, and

o 8,234 new trees in Durham which will be planted at a number of locations to extend and link existing woodlands to enhance biodiversity and habitat connectivity, and improve areas of reclaimed land whilst also benefiting local communities.

The Forestry Commission will continue to contact additional successful applicants who may be awarded funding in the coming weeks.