The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) has been awarded a grant from the £6 million Trees Call to Action Fund, led by Defra, the Forestry Commission and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The grant will enable the ICF to design and deliver two important projects aimed at ensuring the forestry sector is equipped to deal with the dual biodiversity and nature crises, developing the skills of tree professionals at all levels. The ICF will:
- Deliver two bespoke forestry leadership programmes, in partnership with Clore Social Leadership, that will create an engaged, informed and influential cohort of 65 forestry leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds with the ability to effectively steer the sector through the challenges of: climate change mitigation; biodiversity; supporting the green economy, and ensuring that we maximise the potential of our trees and woodlands, delivering against multiple economic, social and political objectives.
- Develop a UKFS-focussed online training series for 800+ forestry professionals that, upon completion, will lead to a Lantra-accredited qualification for delegates. Built on the success of one of the forestry sector’s most well-attended training series in recent years, this training programme will ensure the forestry workforce has the capacity, skills and knowledge to create and manage resilient trees and woodlands for a wide range of outcomes, including climate change mitigation, maintaining a sustainable timber supply chain, and supporting the green economy.
Shireen Chambers MBE FICFor, Executive Director of the ICF, commented:
“The Institute of Chartered Foresters is delighted to have secured the funding to be able to develop and deliver these vital projects. At a time of increased political, social and economic focus on our trees and woodlands, both the leadership programmes and the UKFS training series will ensure that forestry professionals at all levels across the sector will be equipped to face the challenges of woodland planting targets, climate change mitigation, the biodiversity crisis and more.”
The Trees Call to Action Fund support projects which protect trees and woodlands, boost forestry skills and jobs, develop woodland creation partnerships, and engage communities with nature. The fund will distribute grants between £250,000-500,000 to be spent over three years, funding 12 projects across England.
The other projects funded through this year’s Trees Call to Action Fund include six new Woodland Creation Partnerships across rural and urban areas; two projects to develop the skills and workforce of the trees and forestry sector; and three projects which engage people, by planting an NHS forest, engaging farmers to improve woodland condition, and restoring England’s hedgerows. All projects funded will support progress towards achieving the key objectives of the England Trees Action Plan – the Government’s long-term plans for England’s trees, woodlands and forests.
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