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Thousands of trees to be planted by 2050 in North East Community Forest

Thousands of trees to be planted by 2050 in North East Community Forest

Tens of thousands of trees are to be planted each year across the North East by 2050 as it becomes England's latest community forest.

The equivalent of almost 6,000 rugby pitches of new canopy cover will be created as part of the 30-year project.

Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland and urban parts of County Durham are taking part.

There are 11 further forests in England which are part of government plans to tackle the effects of climate change.

The scheme, which will receive Whitehall funding, is also hoped to reduce the flood risk and create habitat for wildlife, as well as improving physical and mental health.

Forestry minister Lord Goldsmith said thousands of trees would help to "rewild areas that are most in need" but locations had yet to be picked.

"Our economies, livelihoods and well-being all rely on nature, and tackling the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss are at the heart of this project," he added.

The six local authorities have committed £75,000 a year towards the costs of a new forest team and funding will be matched from the Trees for Climate Fund, before further cash is sought.
Defra said thousands of trees would be planted in the first year, covering an area of about 35 football pitches.
When fully planted, the North East Community Forest is expected to capture 155,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the emissions from the energy needs of 30,000 homes in a year, the government said.
Clare Penny-Evans, Newcastle City Council's cabinet member for climate change and public safety, said: "Independently the region's councils have been working towards their own planting targets, with some great successes, but in coming together and becoming the North East Community Forest, we can supercharge those ambitions, for the benefit of all."

Retrieved from: (21 Jul 2021)

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