Currently only 13% of the UK is covered in woods and forests and only 2% is covered by Ancient Woodland. In order to revitalise our rural environment there has been a surge in campaigns across the nation to rewild and plant trees. This National Tree week we are celebrating the efforts that we as a nation are making to rejuvenate our biodiverse landscape.
The Veolia Environmental Trust awarded £600,000 to the Woodland Trust to help create the Northern Forest this year and work has already begun. By planting 50 million trees by 2050, the forest will stretch from Hull on the eastern coast, all the way to Southport and Liverpool, hugely boosting the 7.6% of woodland cover that this area currently has. On top of this The Veolia Environmental Trust is supporting sustainable projects from local to national level. In September alone the Trust awarded over £1.2million to 34 community projects in the UK.
Kevin Hurst, Trustee of the Veolia Environmental Trust and Chief Commercial Officer for Veolia UK said,
“With the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil at its highest level in the last 12 years, the recent legislation by DEFRA under the Environment Bill, ensures companies will do their part to restore the rewild and not enable deforestation here in the UK.
“We are very proud to encourage more growth in the country and to be working on such an exciting and historic mission to reforest the UK. Through the Trust we will continue to invest in people and projects, creating green jobs, and helping to make a biodiverse society.”
Simon Mageean, Programme Director, Woodland Trust said:
“The Woodland Trust has already planted of over a million trees across the Northern Forest. There has been over 2.1m trees planted in the Northern Forest since it was launched. The UK desperately needs more native trees and woods to help tackle both the nature and climate crises. UK woodland must expand by 30,000 hectares per year, every year through to 2050, to help the UK reach the net zero carbon emissions target.
“This forest will serve the 13 million people in the surrounding communities reducing the risk of flooding, keeping their air clean, helping to tackle climate change and giving them nature-rich landscapes for future generations. Working together with our partners and the help of The Veolia Environmental Trust we will see habitats thrive, trees and woodland valued and appreciated by all, and our Ancient Woodlands better protected.”