ALMOST £300,000 will be spent on helping communities and landowners plant more trees in Wiltshire.
Wiltshire Council, in partnership with Swindon Borough Council, successfully bid for the money from a Government fund to deliver coordinated and appropriate tree planting across Wiltshire and Swindon.
Councils have received a £294,800 grant from the Government’s Forestry Commission and DEFRA Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund.
The aim of the fund is to provide local authorities with financial support to bring on board the additional professional expertise they need to drive tree planting and woodland creation commitments.
The grant covers two years and will fund new dedicated Woodland Officers to work across Wiltshire and Swindon.
The officers will assist communities and landowners with developing bids for grant funding for planting schemes; bring communities, partners, and landowners together to deliver tree planting on the ground; produce a woodland and tree strategy to guide further delivery of planting and more.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Wiltshire Council leader and cabinet member for climate change, said: “We’re delighted to have been successful in getting this funding. We are an ambitious council and this additional money will help us achieve our tree planting targets and ensure we continue to make good progress as set out in our forward-thinking Natural Environment Plan.
“This is work we can’t do on our own and we’re looking forward to working with groups and landowners across Wiltshire to achieve our collective goal of maintaining and improving the natural environment.
“It’s in everyone’s best interests that we carry out this project successfully and this funding, together with the support of local people, will certainly give us the best opportunity.”
The funding will help deliver tree planting targets over the next two years that will see planting of 111 hectares of trees in 2023-24 and 222 hectares in 2024-25.
The council is keen to hear from local community groups and landowners across Wiltshire and Swindon who might be interested in working with the council to deliver the targets.
For more information contact Paul Robertson, senior landscape officer: email@example.com.