The latest announcement of DEFRA funding for tree planting is attracting positive attention. Linking the schemes to existing Community Forests seems like an uncontroversial approach and will increase the bang per buck for these trees, as they will encourage public access to nature.
Is there something else as well - the particular areas named in the Government's announcement included the Humber and Mersey Forests, the Northern Forest and Great Northumberland Forest. Are we also seeing the idea of levelling up being delivered through schemes to benefit nature? Taking a long-term look at land use and the UK economy, this could be a sensible approach, as the leisure and well-being elements of rural land may play an ever-more prominent role in the thinking around this area.
"This funding will ensure we plant trees in areas close to where people live, as well as providing job opportunities in new woodland creation through planting, establishing and managing trees." Sir William Worsley, Forestry Commission Chair