News

One of the UK’s largest public landowners has pledged £1 million as part of pilot community tree planting scheme

We’re delighted that Network Rail, one of the UK’s largest public landowners, has pledged £1 million to plant trees through a pilot community scheme over the next four years. Network Rail will fund the planting of 20,000 trees across England by Christmas next year in the first phase of this programme, in partnership with The Tree Council.

Network Rail announced the commitment today to coincide with the Daily Mail’s Tree Angel campaign, joining the ranks of organisations and people across the country supporting greater tree planting in 2020 and beyond.

The Tree Council will contribute their expertise in managing community tree planting programmes to deliver this pledge. The Tree Council will work with Network Rail to support local councils, community groups and other conservation organisations to plant trees, hedgerows and orchards across the country. The trees planted will help tackle climate change and provide community benefits such as greenery, shade, flood alleviation, wildlife habitats and improved air quality.

Sara Lom, CEO, The Tree Council said: “We welcome this new pilot by Network Rail alongside their existing work to improve biodiversity on the railway. As the umbrella charity for the UK tree sector, we’re delighted with this opportunity to join with local communities and other conservation charities to plant and care for more trees and hedgerows across the country. Working together, we can tackle climate change, help alleviate flooding and provide new wildlife habitats, as well as establish a legacy of beauty in our towns, cities, villages and countryside.”

The Tree Council has worked as a ‘critical friend’ to Network Rail for five years, and in that time, Network Rail has made steady progress in promoting a greener, more wildlife-friendly railside environment in line with the recommendations of the government’s Varley Review published November 2018. This £1 million pledge marks a scaling up of Network Rail’s ambition as part of their recent commitment to achieve biodiversity net gain on their land by 2040.

If you have questions relating to the wider work of Network Rail, please visit www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/contact-us/.

If you are interested in applying for the community tree planting fund, please contact The Tree Council.

Notes to editors:
The Tree Council is a charity and umbrella body bringing everyone together with a shared mission to care for trees and our planet’s future. We inspire and empower organisations, government, communities and individuals with the knowledge and tools to create positive, lasting change at a national and local level.

Press enquiries – Holly Chetan-Welsh, Head of Comms / holly.chetan-welsh@treecouncil.org.uk