A competition to establish a new national forest is set to be launched this week by environment secretary, Steve Barclay to support improving access to nature.
Communities are encouraged to put their local areas forward to become a new national forest, with the winning location receiving up to £10m in funding.
Applicants will be assessed on how the new forest will impact the local area, create habitats for wildlife, create access to greenspace and help the country meet its net-zero targets.
Further plans to improve green space access are set to be announced later this week, including new Community Forests in Derbyshire and the Tees Valley, which will see around 370 hectares of woodland planted by 2025.
This comes after today’s earlier announcement of a new £16m government funding to boost woodland resilience.
Barclay, who will be attending COP28 next month to discuss plans to restore the natural world, says: We know that spending time in green spaces and getting hands on with nature has a positive impact on our health and wellbeing.
“Improving access, planting more trees, protecting nature and creating new green spaces is our pathway to achieving this.”
The competition launches this year with successful bids to be announced by autumn 2024.