An ambitious project to plant 50 million trees in the north of England has taken a step forward after the UK government pledged £ 15 million to the cause on Monday.
According to the Woodland Trust, which oversees the project, that will be enough to plant 1 million trees over the next year; 3 million have already been planted.
It’s all part of North Forest Initiative: An ambitious plan to create a leafy corridor from Liverpool to Hull, spanning Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield. It was launched three years ago to increase the number of trees in an area that has only 7.6% forest cover, compared to a national average of 13.2%.
Simon Mageean, Woodland Trust program director for Northern Forest, said: “This new funding is enormously significant. It will allow us to establish more than a million new trees this winter and better connect them to the wider landscape. “
He added: “These new trees have the power to transform people’s lives throughout all the green space they bring in areas of traditionally low tree cover, they are also ready to give a major boost to our fight against climate change and foster the recovery of nature “.
The Northern Forest will cost approximately £ 500 million over 25 years, with most of the funding coming from charitable donations.
Environmental groups have welcomed the project. However, they argue that planting trees is not a substitute for preserving ancient forests and have criticized the UK government for allowing the clearing of primary forests for infrastructure projects like HS2.
Image: Diego Torres