UK government spends a fraction of its committed budget for planting trees in England at 37 pence per person compared to £ 9.23 in Scotland
- In total, the government spends £ 20.5 million on forestry grants in England
- In Scotland, the government spends £ 50.2 million on new forest exchanges
- Campaigners say more funding is needed to meet planting goals
The government spends only 37 cents per person planting new trees in England, a new study finds – just a fraction of the £ 9.23 spent in Scotland.
An analysis of government figures by Friends of the Earth found that in 2018/2019 £ 20.5 million was spent on forest stock exchanges in England.
This is less than half of the £ 50.2 million that the government has spent on forest fairs in Scotland, which has a much smaller population than England.
Campaigners said more funding was needed for new trees in English provinces, as the two countries are already very uneven in tree cover – with Scotland occupying 19 percent of the forest, compared to just 10 percent in England.
An analysis of government figures by Friends of the Earth found that in 2018/2019 £ 20.5 million was spent on forest stock exchanges in England
The Daily Mail, with The Be a Tree Angel campaign run with the Tree Council, has called for much more investment in tree planting across the UK.
The campaign raised over half a million pounds through corporate donors to plant orchards in schools.
The Be a Tree Angel campaign has also raised funds from readers to plant over 100,000 trees across the country.
Campaigners point out that the budget for planting 30,000 hectares of trees in England in the next 5 years is only 6,000 hectares per year.
This is only 20 percent of the government’s manifesto commitment.
The government promised to “reach another 75,000 hectares [30,000 hectares] trees every year towards the end of the next Parliament ‘.
The group said this would leave Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to grow 80 percent of all new trees pledged for the country as a whole.
Danny Gross, Friends of the Earth campaigner, said, “Westminster’s strategy to create more forest has a huge imbalance.
The government promised to “reach another 75,000 hectares [30,000 hectares] trees every year towards the end of the next Parliament ‘
“It is not nearly enough in England as it leaves Scotland to do the heavy lifting,” Gross told the Daily Mail.
‘Growing more trees is an important part of the fight against the climate crisis, so the government really has to do its bit.
At the moment, it’s even missing its own meager manifesto bet on trees.
“The upcoming English Tree strategy is a great opportunity to reverse this, so attention should be focused on increasing tree spending in England.
“We know that England has the land to double the trees, only the political will is lacking.”