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Plant an additional 75,000 acres of trees a year

Last updated 4 months ago

Building on our support for creating a Great Northumberland Forest, we will reach an additional 75,000 acres of trees a year by the end of the next Parliament...

Conservative Party Manifesto 2019, p.43

Our verdict

  • This is a commitment to plant new trees at a rate of 75,000 acres per year by the end of this parliamentary term, expected to be in 2024.
  • The government has created a £640 million Nature for Climate fund, which is being used to help deliver on this policy pledge, and has held a consultation on a forthcoming England Tree Strategy. Also, in March 2021, the £2.7 million Local Authority Treescapes Fund was launched to “increase tree planting and natural regeneration in local communities”. The latest national statistics show that in 2019-2020 only 2330 hectares of new woodland was planted in England, which equates to a mere 5757 acres – Scotland, by comparison, planted more than 27,000 acres.
  • The Prime Minister restated a version of this pledge as part of his ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution in November 2020, and a written answer in February 2021 said the government would “soon publish plans for how we will increase tree planting”. However, with less than one-tenth of the 75,000-acre annual target reached in the first year of office, and with criticism and dispute arising over existing tree planting strategies, there is a long way to go before this policy is anything other than ‘in progress’.

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