The National Forest, the first forest to be created at scale in England for over 1000 years, has reached its 9th million tree milestone during this year’s planting season.
The forest, a wooded landscape that stretches across 200 square miles, is a growing network of wooded areas across the Midlands in central England.
To mark the 9th million tree milestone, The National Forest held a virtual ceremony with Wallace and Gromit character, Shaun the Sheep, the star of an online tree planting broadcast on Facebook.
UK Forestry Minister, Zac Goldsmith, was originally meant to plant the tree, but since the country’s still in lockdown, The National Forest had to find a creative way for their landmark tree to be planted.
The National Forest said the Aardman character was the perfect ambassador for woodlands and the countryside. Having lived on the farm his entire life Shaun has had many encounters with the flora and fauna around him and has become an expert on the way.
The tree planting milestone coincides with the announcement that the National Forest will receive an extra £2.26m from the UK government’s Nature for Climate Fund which will enable the National Forest to double its tree planting aspirations for this year, bringing all the benefits of trees to even more people.
Dr Ian Duncan, Chair of the National Forest Company, said: “We are incredibly proud to be planting our 9 millionth tree. It is a major achievement in our ongoing work to create the National Forest, and we are extremely grateful to all our farmers, landowners, businesses, schools, local authorities and countless individuals, who have helped us transform the National Forest landscape, demonstrating how nature, society and the economy can work together.
“But we have many more trees to plant, continuing the work of creating the Forest and helping to address the challenges of a changing climate. So we very much welcome the announcement of additional funding through the Nature for Climate Fund which will allow us to double our aspirations for tree planting and accelerate progress towards 10 million trees.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.