England has enough land to triple tree cover, official data reveals

England could triple tree cover in England without impacting on other priority habitats such as peat bogs, according to Friends of the Earth.

Friends of the Earth analysed unpublished Forestry Commission data and found that there is sufficient suitable land for an additional 3.2m hectares of trees on top of existing woodland, which would take England’s tree cover, from the current level of 10%  to 35%.

Guy Shrubsole, trees campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Restoring forests in England has huge potential for fighting the climate and nature crisis. This data shows how much land there is for this – all without impacting pre-existing key habitats.”

The analysis follows the recent launch of the UK government’s England Tree Strategy, which failed to commit to any tree planting target for England.

Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, which funds tree planting projects across the country, said: “We’re in desperate need of more trees. By planting trees, we can boost community health and wellbeing, while fighting climate change. I’m really pleased that funding raised by our players is supporting essential tree planting projects across the country, and hope that ministers will take notice of this public enthusiasm and the fact that there’s more than enough land out there for trees.”

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. 

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