Thousands of new trees and a new nature reserve for Yorkshire to celebrate King's Coronation
A new £2.5m fund was launched last Saturday to help councils create green spaces and “connect communities with nature as a permanent reminder of the coronation”.
The scheme celebrates Charles’s well-known passion for nature and the environment, which manifested itself in the many patronages for wildlife and conservation charities he held during his time as Prince of Wales.
Projects include free or subsidised tree schemes managed by councils, grants for farmers to plant trees on agricultural land and money for small tree nurseries.
Funding for communities and groups to plant orchards and for the planting of trees using the Miyawaki method, which involves careful soil preparation to rapidly plant dense native woodlands that are usually the size of a tennis court, will also be available.
The Government claims the initiative will help meet its targets to treble tree-planting rates by the next election and ensure 16.5 per cent of land area is under tree cover by 2050.
However campaign group Friends of the Earth says the announcement only amounts to “a fraction” of what ministers need to do to meet their own targets.
Campaigner Paul de Zylva said: “We certainly need to see an increase in the number of trees being planted.
“But though positive, this announcement is only a fraction of what’s required if the Government is to get itself on track to meeting its own tree-planting targets.
“Ideally, we’d be seeing more money directed to the neighbourhoods that have little or no tree cover, because these are the communities missing out most on the many health and wellbeing benefits that trees bring – such as their ability to cool built up areas during hotter weather.”
Applications for grants of £10,000 to £50,000 opened on Saturday for county, district and city councils in England.
Other groups such as parish councils and housing associations should contact their local authority if they want to be involved.
The fund will be open for five weeks until September 11.
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said: “Building on the launch of the first Coronation Woodlands this year, I am delighted that communities across the country will be able to create new spaces to enjoy trees which will serve as a permanent reminder of His Majesty’s coronation in their local areas.
“These new trees will mark His Majesty’s passion for trees and woodlands and deliver a range of benefits for the natural environment – from carbon sequestration, to habitat creation and the boosting of human health and wellbeing.”
Forestry Commission chairman Sir William Worsley said: “I am delighted that today we are opening the Coronation Living Heritage Fund to commemorate the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.
“This will enable communities to grow new and diverse trees to enrich the environment in which people, wildlife, and nature coexist for generations to come.”
The announcement follows the launch of several other nature and environmental related projects to mark the coronation earlier this year.
They include the renaming of England’s longest national trail as the King Charles III England Coast Path. It will be the longest managed coastal path in the world and will go all the way around the coast of England and will be around 2,700 miles long when it is complete linking coastal towns, cities and ports.
There is also the launch of the King’s Series of National Nature Reserves with five major National Nature Reserves named every year for the next five years - 25 in total.
One of the first ones in 2023-34 is likely to be Ingleborough in North Yorkshire.
Forestry England’s announced back in April that it will leave a lasting public legacy for people and nature by developing new 'Coronation Woods' between then and March 2025.
Alongside large-scale woodland creation, funding will also be provided for local communities to plant trees in the King’s honour. Defra also agreed to provide up to £2.5m of funding for communities in England to plant trees as a permanent reminder of the Coronation in their local areas.