£3.9 million to drive innovative tree planting A cash boost of nearly £4 million to plant more trees in England has been announced. This will see hundreds of thousands of new trees planted, including in towns and cities and near rivers to reduce flood risk, and help meet the government’s commitment to increase planting to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025. A pot of £2.5 million will support schemes that establish new ways of planting trees in cities, towns and countryside. Led by Defra, Natural England and the Tree Council, this will use five pilot studies delivered on the ground by Local Authorities to develop cost-effective and innovative approaches to planting trees outside woodlands over the next two and a half years. This could include schemes such as community tree nurseries, agroforestry and hedgerow management, or planting trees from locally collected seed. These new trees will help tackle climate change and create habitats for wildlife. A further £1.4 million has been awarded to the Environment Agency to fund ‘woodlands for water’ – 15 projects to plant over 850,000 trees that will protect around 160km of river and help to reduce the risk of flooding to over 500 properties. Tree planting can play a valuable role in reducing flood risk, slowing the flow of water to nearby communities. Tree planting near watercourses can also act as a buffer for agricultural pollution and improve water quality. The Tree Council is a charity and umbrella body bringing everyone together with a shared mission to care for trees and our planet’s future. They inspire and empower organisations, government, communities and individuals with the knowledge and tools to create positive, lasting change at a national and local level.