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The UK urgently needs to increase tree cover to mitigate climate change and boost wildlife. The government is asking the public for views on its plans. The UK needs to accelerate rates of tree planting to 30,000 hectares a year to absorb carbon dioxide, prevent flooding and restore wildlife populations, according to a consultation launched by the government. Currently, trees cover around 13 per cent of the UK, though this varies from nine per cent in Northern Ireland to 19 per cent in Scotland. The government’s target is in line with the lower rate recommended by the Committee on Climate Change, which has said that between 30,000 and 50,000 hectares of trees should be planted per year. The consultation is also seeking views on how to manage existing woodland better, how to help more people gain health benefits from trees, and how best to use trees to support the economy. The government will use the responses to inform its tree strategy, which it will fund partly using the £640 million “Nature for Climate Fund” it committed to in the last budget. Not just numbers Ben Goldsmith, who is a non-executive director at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural […]

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