The Local Authorities Treescapes Fund (round 3) and Urban Tree Challenge Fund (round 5) reopened for applications on 8 February and will see hundreds of thousands of trees planted in communities across England. More than £14m will be available for local authorities and community groups to access funds for new tree planting projects. The funds will level up access to nature across the country, planting trees in socially deprived urban areas with low canopy cover, increasing wellbeing and biodiversity across the country.
Local Authority Treescapes Fund
The Local Authority Treescapes Fund (LATF) will see local authorities drive an increase in non-woodland tree planting across our landscapes. Now entering its third round of funding, LATF will for the first time welcome individual applications from Borough, District and City Councils, as well as County Councils, Unitary and Metropolitan Boroughs. Previously, these local authorities needed to form groups with each other or County Councils in order to apply.
Urban Tree Challenge Fund
The Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF) levels up access to nature across the country, planting trees in socially deprived urban areas with low canopy cover, in proximity to healthcare and educational facilities. The fund is open to anyone with management control of the land. UTCF has also introduced important changes and will now provide 80% funding of standard costs for planting large trees and their establishment costs for 3 years following planting, compared to funding 50% of standard costs in previous rounds. Funding for trial pits is also available for the first time.
There are several key differences between the Local Authority Treescapes Fund and the Urban Tree Challenge Fund. You can read the Forestry Commission’s blog outlining these differences and offering guidance on how to apply for both funds.
Applications for both funds are now open and will remain open year round. The Forestry Commission strongly encourage applications during the spring/early summer so successful applicants can start their planting later this year, and funding will be allocated to successful applicants on a first-come-first-serve basis.