To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to encourage tree planting throughout the UK to help carbon offsetting; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a subsidy for the provision of saplings to landowners to encourage tree planting.
Trees have a crucial role in the pathway to net zero, so the Government has committed to increase tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025. As forestry is a devolved matter, we will work with the devolved administrations to achieve this.
In England, we have launched a consultation on a new England Tree Strategy, setting out proposals to plant more trees for the climate and nature. The Strategy will support delivery of the £640 million Nature for Climate Fund, increasing tree planting in England throughout this parliament.
This will build on our existing grants, such as Countryside Stewardship and the Woodland Carbon Fund, which already support landowners to buy, plant and maintain saplings, capturing carbon for years to come.