Thirteen projects in urban communities across England have been awarded a share of the £10m in the first round of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund.

Across the country over 22,000 large trees and 28,000 small trees will be planted in urban areas. These will help areas improve health and wellbeing, as well as playing a crucial role in the fight against climate change, supporting the UK’s journey to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Government is committed to plant 30,000 hectares of trees a year across the UK by 2025, and the fund is helping increase canopy cover in and around towns and cities where they bring a wide range of benefits.

Launched in May 2019, the £10 million scheme will see 130,000 trees planted across England’s towns and cities by 2021.

Sir Harry Studholme, Chair of the Forestry Commission, said: “The fund focuses on areas of high deprivation and low tree canopy cover where every tree planted has the change to provide the greatest impact.

Not only do trees in urban areas help to improve wellbeing but they also offer benefits in many other ways like helping tackle climate change and mitigating flood risks. I look forward to seeing the second year of the fund re-opening for smaller scale planting later this year.”

Commenting on his successful bid, Luke Evans, Chair of Thanet Community Forest School CIO, said: “Thanet has one of the lowest tree canopies — 4.4 % — in the country and one of the highest levels of deprivation so I have always seen the planting of trees in the area a priority of mine. The response from our community in Thanet has been incredible and has shown it is an important issue for everybody.”

The Urban Tree Challenge Fund is made up of two parts. In year one, the fund was open for block bids from local authorities or larger organisations, and bidding closed on 31 August 2019. In year two, the fund will reopen for applications from individual tree planters, commencing in spring 2020.

Ahead of this, applicants can currently submit an Expression of Interest to the Forestry Commission to state their interest and receive the latest up-to-date information on the fund before the opening of the year two application window.

Last reviewed 14 February 2020