Exploring novel ways to reduce the costs of quality tree establishment through Defra’s Shared Outcomes Fund

The Shared Outcomes Fund, Trees Outside Woodland (SOF TOW) programme was launched in 2020 and is now in its fourth year. Led by Defra in partnership with Natural England, The Tree Council, Chichester District Council, Cornwall Council, Kent County Council, Norfolk Council, and Shropshire Council, the project is continuing until 2025 with a further £2.8m from the Shared Outcomes Fund. The programme is developing innovative and sustainable new ways to increase tree cover, to address both climate and ecological emergencies.

Trees Outside of Woodland

Pilot 1: Urban Tree Establishment

Seeking to investigate methods of increasing urban tree cover, this pilot will assess the Miyawaki approach to establishing mini-woodlands in urban parks and green spaces.

Pilot 2: Subsidised Tree Scheme

This pilot aims to determine the best way of providing trees to individuals and organisations who will then plant them on their own land, and assesses the uptake levels and survival rates of trees disseminated.

Hedge planting and growing
tree planting for flood management

Pilot 3: Agroforestry and Orchards

This pilot seeks to determine which interventions could encourage significant increases in tree planting on farmland which, if accelerated, could provide a cost-effective method of delivering more trees outside woodlands.

Pilot 4: Trees in the Farmed Landscape

Despite having the largest population of ancient and veteran trees in northern Europe, changes in UK land use since the middle of the 20th Century have seen this number reduce, alongside decline in the hedgerow network.

Trees in the Farmed Landscape
Boosting Community Tree Nurseries

Pilot 5: Boosting Community Tree Nurseries

Community Tree Nurseries (CTNs) can supply high quality, locally grown, diverse, biosecure planting stock of local provenance for planting.