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Defra partners with Forest for Cornwall to drive regional tree planting

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has joined forces with Forest for Cornwall for a new partnership to drive regional tree planting.

The National Woodland Creation Partnership pilot will be supported through an initial £120,000 funding from the Nature for Climate Fund, with the government backing this Cornwall-led initiative to help identify sites in the area for woodland creation and bring local stakeholders on board.

The ambition of Forest for Cornwall, led by Cornwall Council as a key part of its Carbon Neutral Action Plan, is to ensure the woodlands created are best suited for the needs of the communities in Cornwall.

A mix of targeted tree and woodland planting will be carried out to achieve this, including planting trees to provide shade in urban areas and planting woodlands to enhance nature’s recovery and flood mitigation.

Growing, protecting and restoring trees, forests and woodlands can help reduce carbon emissions, encourage biodiversity and nature recovery, grow the sustainable timber market and improve people’s health and wellbeing.

Forestry Commission Chair Sir William Worsley added: “Trees are the backbone of our urban and rural environments and essential in tackling the climate emergency. As the largest land managers in England and the government’s expert forestry advisors, we are excited to be part of this new pilot.

“This partnership will be crucial for deciding where trees need to be planted in Cornwall to provide maximum benefits for people, climate and nature.”

The project supports the government’s ambition to increase tree planting rates to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK by 2025.

Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “This exciting new partnership in Cornwall emphasises the importance of working together and using a locally-led approach to help build back greener.

“I am pleased to announce that through the government’s Nature for Climate Fund, trees will be planted where they are most needed, allowing more communities in Cornwall to have access to nature and in turn, to experience real benefits for health and wellbeing.”

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