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New Community Forest created in the North East to support a greener future

Beech trees in autumn

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 thanks to £480,000 in funding from Defra's Nature for Climate Fund. 

Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith said: 

"I am delighted to welcome the North East Community Forest to the expanding network of Community Forests across England. Supported by our £640 million Nature for Climate Fund, we will plant many thousands of trees and help rewild areas that are most in need. 

"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. 

"Spending time in nature - particularly around trees - is proven to boost our physical and mental health and wellbeing, so I am pleased this project will be accessible to communities in Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham." 

Paul Nolan, Chair, England's Community Forests, said: 

"This is an incredibly exciting moment for the people of the North East as their new Community Forest sets out to create greener, more tree-filled and accessible spaces for all to enjoy, encourage biodiversity to thrive, support local economic growth and help the city region tackle climate change. 

"We warmly welcome the North East Community Forest to our network and look forward to working side by side with all those involved."  

Cllr Martin Gannon, leader of Gateshead Council, said:

"The world and humanity are facing unprecedented challenges around climate change and the North East needs to play its part in addressing those challenges.

"We know trees and woods are vital in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss, so today's announcement is fantastic for the region.

"By working together we can help secure the multiple benefits provided by trees and woods as part of a healthy, functioning ecosystem, and so protect and improve the lives of our communities, including the most vulnerable in our society."

Find out more

Beech trees in autumn
21 July 2021

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 thanks to £480,000 in funding from Defra's Nature for Climate Fund. 

Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith said: 

"I am delighted to welcome the North East Community Forest to the expanding network of Community Forests across England. Supported by our £640 million Nature for Climate Fund, we will plant many thousands of trees and help rewild areas that are most in need. 

"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. 

"Spending time in nature - particularly around trees - is proven to boost our physical and mental health and wellbeing, so I am pleased this project will be accessible to communities in Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham." 

Paul Nolan, Chair, England's Community Forests, said: 

"This is an incredibly exciting moment for the people of the North East as their new Community Forest sets out to create greener, more tree-filled and accessible spaces for all to enjoy, encourage biodiversity to thrive, support local economic growth and help the city region tackle climate change. 

"We warmly welcome the North East Community Forest to our network and look forward to working side by side with all those involved."  

Cllr Martin Gannon, leader of Gateshead Council, said:

"The world and humanity are facing unprecedented challenges around climate change and the North East needs to play its part in addressing those challenges.

"We know trees and woods are vital in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss, so today's announcement is fantastic for the region.

"By working together we can help secure the multiple benefits provided by trees and woods as part of a healthy, functioning ecosystem, and so protect and improve the lives of our communities, including the most vulnerable in our society."

Find out more

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