Defra, England Community Forests and local councils across the North East area are today announcing the creation of a new Community Forest to bring people closer to nature in the North East.
The North East Community Forest sees six local authorities joining forces with environmental organisations to plant trees across the region.
The initiative aims to plant up to 500 hectares of trees by 2025, with a long-term goal to increase canopy cover across the north east to 30% by 2050 – almost double the current national average.
The partnership will work with people in the community, businesses and landowners with the aim of bringing forests and woodlands to those most in need across Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham.
Thousands of trees will be planted in the first year – up to 25ha, or around 35 football pitches – thanks to £480,000 in funding from Defra’s Nature for Climate Fund.
Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith said:
Cllr Clare Penny-Evans, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for climate change and public safety, said:
Paul Nolan, Chair, England’s Community Forests, said: