A new government backed scheme has given millions of schoolchildren across England the chance to plant saplings in their communities as part of the new scheme to give free trees to schools, which is being rolled out this spring in partnership with the Woodland Trust—on top of an existing Government commitment to plant 11 million trees by 2020. Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss recently visited Griffin Primary School in Wandsworth to mark the first phase of planting in the scheme, which has seen thousands of saplings planted already. The scheme, designed to help children learn about native UK trees and connect with the natural environment and provide a million trees to schools in total, this is all funded by Defra and the Woodland Trust.
Speaking on the UN’s International Day of Forests, the Environment Secretary said the tree-planting plans are a key part of a new Government campaign to connect children with nature that will launch later this year. This will not only benefit the local environment, but will also support the new national curriculum to ensure children can identify iconic native trees and help the next generation understand the benefits of a healthy environment for our prosperity and wellbeing. Woodland cover in England is currently at its highest level since the 14th century at 11%. The Government is committed to growing it even further with a promise to plant another 11 million trees over the course of this parliament. This follows the Government’s planting of 11 million trees since 2010 and with schemes like this being funded, there are hopes that the percentage could increase.
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