Forest Initiative boosted by £300k funding from Forestry Commission
General / Sat 25th Sep 2021 at 03:50pm
ESSEX Forest Initiative, which aims to plant 375,000 trees by 2024, boosted by £300k funding from Forestry Commission.
Efforts from the Essex Forest Initiative have recently been given a significant boost, thanks to the Forestry Commission, with the award of £300k funding for trees.
The Local Authority Treescape Fund is grant funding from the Forestry Commission to support tree planting outside of woodlands. It focusses on settings such as hedgerows, parklands, urban areas, riverbanks, roads and footpaths.
The fund will target areas with trees that have been neglected or suffered damage in the past, including disused and vacant community spaces and those affected by tree diseases.
As the lead local authority, Essex County Council was eligible to apply and then distribute funding to district and borough council partners, Colchester, Harlow and Epping Forest, to deliver the planting and maintenance of 5595 trees, with more planned.
The maximum payment of £300,000 was granted – now set to support the Essex Forest Initiative’s aim of planting 375,000 trees by 2024.
The concentration will be on trees on the riverside, in urban areas and along roads, as well as the infilling of old hedgerows and creation of wood pasture across the county. Maintenance costs will also be covered by the funding, in order to look after the trees in their initial growing years.
This marks another step forward by the Essex Forest Initiative for Essex’s overall net-zero targets, as each tree planted will have a significant effect on reducing carbon emissions and increasing resilience in the environment.
Councillor Peter Schwier, Essex County Council’s Climate Czar was delighted with the news: “This is a fantastic opportunity to go further in our efforts to offset the carbon emissions that are contributing to ongoing climate change. There are many other benefits to this fund for people and wildlife in Essex, from improvements in air quality to reductions in flooding. The Essex Forest Initiative’s ambitious target of 375,000 trees has now been made ever more possible”.
The funding will also help provide new habitats for wildlife and richer biodiversity, as well as building upon the acres of green spaces to enjoy and nurture across Essex.