Tree Planting: England

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Conservative, West Worcestershire

What steps he is taking to increase tree planting in England.

Photo of Jane Stevenson Jane Stevenson Conservative, Wolverhampton North East

What steps he is taking to increase tree planting in England.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We are committed to increasing tree planting throughout the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025, and we are working with the devolved Administrations on that, too. We have announced a nature for climate fund to increase planting in England, and we recently consulted on the new England tree strategy.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Conservative, West Worcestershire

Across the valley of the River Severn, the River Teme and the River Avon we are grateful for the support we are getting to improve our flood defences. Will the Minister tell the House how tree planting can improve flood resilience across river catchments?

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

My hon. Friend raises an important point. Our new £640 million nature for climate fund will do a lot to drive up tree planting. We will also do a lot of planting with the emphasis on river corridors and floodplains and on nature-based solutions, working with the Environment Agency. In that way, we aim to slow the flow, control flooding and increase tree planting. Lots of plans are in place, and I hope my hon. Friend’s constituency will benefit.

Photo of Jane Stevenson Jane Stevenson Conservative, Wolverhampton North East

I am absolutely thrilled that the Government-funded National Brownfield Institute will soon open in Wolverhampton North East. Will the Minister tell me how, as we move forward in the Black Country with building sustainable homes on reclaimed land, we can ensure that tree planting is not forgotten in new developments on brownfield sites?

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We are very much looking forward to Wolverhampton’s National Brownfield Institute coming to fruition and to all the work it will do on sustainable development. Of course, trees will be an important part of sustainable development. This issue was referred to in our England tree strategy, and we are exploring ways to incorporate trees into the development of brownfield sites.