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Trees for Cities Leads Fight for Urban Greening

Author:  Trees for Cities
  29/07/2021
Last Updated:  29/07/2021
Green Recovery Challenge Fund
Trees For Cities

Trees for Cities Leads Fight for Urban Greening in UK’s Coastal Towns & Cities with 1.2M Green Recovery Grant for Forgotten Places

Trees for Cities has been awarded a grant from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery.

The funding of over 1.2M secured by Trees for Cities through this grant, will specifically focus on increasing tree cover in smaller coastal cities and towns with lower than average tree canopy cover and high levels of socio-economic deprivation.

Through the award, 55,000 trees will be planted across 83 locations in 7 coastal towns and cities through community tree planting events designed to green and revitalise forgotten coastal urban areas, engage local communities with nature and inspire a new generation to plant and protect urban trees.

Despite significant resources that have been invested in planting programmes, many places, especially coastal locations, have been overlooked and risk being further left behind. Whilst the levelling-up agenda focuses on the north/south economic divide, coastal communities up and down the country are in dire need of a boost to resources to kick-start a new green economy.

David Elliott, Chief Executive of Trees for Cities, said:

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this funding through the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. This grant is a fantastic step towards rebalancing the UK’s canopy cover towards our forgotten coastal towns and cities - tackling green inequality and deprivation for those more likely to face barrios to environmental justice.

We know that planting trees in cities has a hugely positive impact on people and our environment and that there is a strong correlation between low canopy cover and social deprivation. This funding will help us and our partners work together with local communities to provide green jobs and cultivate lasting change in neighbourhoods and coastal communities for generations to come.”

In total, ninety nature projects across England have been awarded grants from £68,100 to £1,950,000 to create and retain over 1,000 green jobs, backed by the Government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Beckenham Palace Park Tree Planting Day 2018 ©Luca Radek
Beckenham Palace Park Tree Planting Day 2018 ©Luca Radek
Beckenham Palace Park Tree Planting Day 2018 ©Luca Radek

Work will be carried out on over 600 sites from North Northumberland to the tip of Cornwall, and combined with the first round, almost a million trees will be planted, contributing towards the Government’s commitment to treble tree planting rates across England by the end of this Parliament.

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. Connecting people with nature is another priority theme: by increasing access to nature and greenspaces, projects will support both physical and mental wellbeing.

The Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said:

“The diverse and ambitious projects being awarded funding today will help environmental organisations employ more people to work on tree-planting, nature restoration and crucially, help more of the public to access and enjoy the outdoors.

“Through our £80 million Fund, we are on track to support over 2,500 jobs, plant almost a million trees and increase nature recovery at a huge scale across the country, which will help us deliver against our 25 Year Environment Plan.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“From wetland restoration, to creating wildlife-rich habitat for bees, it is vital that we value, protect and rebuild our natural heritage. This new funding will not only allow projects to carry out direct conservation which is essential in protecting our biodiversity, but it will increase awareness of how and why we need to change our behaviours in order to protect our future.”,/h4>

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said:

“By supporting jobs from Northumberland to Somerset, the Green Recovery Challenge Fund will help deliver a nature positive future. The fund supports young people to develop skills needed to protect nature, build back greener and prepare for climate impacts, like floods and heatwaves.”

Trees for Cities

Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said:

“Our environmental and conservation charity sector does an incredible job in protecting, improving and restoring the natural environment for the benefit of communities and the economy.”

Forestry Commission Chair Sir William Worsley said:

“This funding will help deliver thousands more trees and help us achieve our target of trebling tree planting rates in England by the end of the Parliament. We need to work towards net zero emissions by 2050; to address biodiversity loss; to better connect people with nature; and to create more green jobs in doing so. Trees are central to this and the projects being awarded these grants will have a hugely important role in helping us realise these objectives.”

A full list of awards is available to view at: www.heritagefund.org.uk/publications/green-recovery-challenge-fund-second-round-decisions-july-2021

Trees for Cities works with volunteers, schools and local communities to improve people’s lives by planting trees in cities, enhancing green spaces in urban neighbourhoods, creating healthier environments and getting people excited about growing, foraging and eating healthy food.