White Rose Forest secures £7.5million funding for woodland creation projects in Yorkshire this planting season

20 September 2022

  • 400 hectares of trees to be planted in North and West Yorkshire within the next 12 months.
  • One of the most competitive and flexible funding packages for tree planting available to landowners across the region via the White Rose Forest.
  • New funding award follows successful planting of more than 150 hectares of woodland during the 2021/22 planting season.

Press release: North and West Yorkshire will benefit from over £7.5 million of government funding for the planting of new trees and woodland over the next 12 months.

The funding has been awarded to the White Rose Forest, the community forest for North and West Yorkshire, who will work with landowners, farmers and communities across the region to plant over 400 hectares of new trees and woodland, the equivalent of 560 football pitches, between November and March 2023.

Guy Thompson, Programme Director for the White Rose Forest said:

“Interest from landowners and farmers in incorporating new woodland and hedgerows on their land has never been higher and we are getting ready for a very busy planting season. The White Rose Forest team is here to provide free, expert support for all landowners and land managers to plan, fund and plant trees across North or West Yorkshire.”

Across the country around 2,300 hectares of trees – equivalent to around 3,220 football pitches – will be planted across England as part of this year’s total funding allocation from the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund of £44.2 million. These projects will expand woodlands near our cities, towns, villages and rivers – giving more people greater access to nature and improving health and wellbeing as well as playing an important role in Government ambitions to treble tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament and reach net zero.

The funding will help support the creation of a wide range of well-designed woodlands that will increase resilience to climate change, as well as natural hazards such as wildfire and storms – playing an important role in helping us adapt to a warmer world. They will help to reduce flood risk in vulnerable areas, provide sustainable UK grown timber and provide more places for nature and biodiversity to thrive.

Sir William Worsley, Forestry Commission Chair, said: 

“The social, environmental and economic benefits of being in woodlands are well-documented, helping local communities to be happier, healthier and more pleasant places to live.

“It is a personal mission of mine to make sure as many people as possible get to experience these benefits. 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.”

The White Rose Forest is one of 13 community forests spread across England who have been awarded government funding as part of the England’s Community Forests Trees for Climate programme. This is one of the most competitive and flexible tree planting funding options available to landowners, offering bespoke grants covering up to 100% of costs for projects of all sizes.

More than 150 hectares of new woodland were planted by the White Rose Forest with Trees for Climate funding during the 2021/22 planting season. In south Leeds, over 62,000 trees were planted over five locations owned by Leeds City Council between Morley and Middleton, providing improved recreational spaces for local communities and increasing natural flood defences in the area. Whilst, on a much smaller scale, a private landowner near Bradford decided that planting trees on her two-acre field was the most important action she and her family could take to help the environment.