FUNDING has been secured for 'community forests' across the UK, with one in Cumbria.

The investment from the Government aims to create woodlands more resilient to climate change and natural hazards like wildfires, storms and floods.

England’s 13 community forests, including the Cumbria Community Coastal Forest, are all set to benefit from the funding.

As part of the Government’s £750million nature for climate fund, these projects will expand woodlands near our cities, towns, villages and rivers - giving more people greater access to nature and improving health and wellbeing.

It is aimed that collectively around 2,300 hectares of trees – equivalent to around 3,220 football pitches – will be planted as part of this year’s £44.2million funding allocation, playing an important role in Government ambitions to treble tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament and reach net zero.

It is estimated the planting announced today will see 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide absorbed by 2050, valued at nearly £100million.

The funding will also create more green jobs within the forestry and environmental sectors, helping spread economic growth across the country.

Keith Jones, Forestry Commission's area director for the Northwest and West Midlands, said: “This will mean the expansion and creation of woodland in local communities which will support improved health and wellbeing.

“The funding will also create more job opportunities in the local area to generate new woodland through planting, establishing and managing trees.”

Paul Nolan, chair of 'England’s Community Forests', said: “England’s community forests welcome the opportunity to establish even more new woodlands close to people to deliver all the benefits that we know they provide.

“Over the past two years, England’s Community Forests have worked closely with Defra, Forestry Commission, Natural England, over 70 local authorities and a huge range of landowners to establish more than 1000 hectares of new woodland.

“We are looking forward to continuing this joint endeavour and helping the country reach our net zero goal.”

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