A Conservative majority government would embark on an era of “true 21st century Conservativism” by tripling tree-planting rates and creating a new £500 million fund to protect the world’s oceans to help meet its 2050 net zero target.

The new £640m Nature for Climate fund would increase tree planting in England. The government would work with the Devolved Administrations to triple UK tree-planting rates to 30,000 hectares every year – space for at least 30 million more trees – in line with recommendations from the independent Committee on Climate Change.

Existing woodland like the Northern Forest and Northumberland Forest would be expanded, new forests would be created across the country. Towns and cities would also benefit with more trees planted in urban areas to improve air quality.

The fund would also be used to restore degraded peatland across the country, turning it from a source of carbon to a means of soaking up carbon, as well as replenishing native wildlife populations. 

When I went to meet the local based charity, the Arboricultural Association (https://www.trees.org.uk/), a clear message from them was that we should not just keep planting more trees without looking after the trees we have.  The coverage existing trees give us would take many decades to replace, yet they are under threat from disease and development.  I have already been speaking to our councillors about this and spent time with brilliant people like Richard, the Nailsworth groundsman to find out what more we can do locally, and trees will be a focus of mine if I am lucky enough to become your Member of Parliament.

Conservative commitments: 

Establishing a £640 million Nature for Climate Fund, leaving our environment in a better condition for the next generation. The Fund will be used to dramatically increase rates of tree-planting rates in England with more research into the most appropriate species to plant across the country, a scaling up the nursery sector to grow the saplings, new partnerships with landowners, and increased planting rates on sites. 

Planting more trees in urban areas, to help tackle poor air quality and make our towns and cities healthier places to live and raise children. The Fund will include money for urban trees, which help boost air quality and improve the quality of life in our towns and cities. 

Tripling tree planting rates to 30,000 hectares a year across the UK – equivalent to 46,000 football pitches. The Government would accept the independent Climate Change Committee’s recommendation to increase tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares a year and work with Devolved Administrations to achieve this goal. This will deliver new forests across the country, while expanding existing plans like the Northern Forest and Northumberland Forest. 

Restoring precious peatland across the country, helping wildlife to thrive as well as tackling climate change. Restoring peatland will also reduce the risk of wildfires and act as a natural way of capturing carbon out of the atmosphere.

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