The council will lead the Subsidised Tree Planting pilot scheme, which looks to help tackle climate change and boost biodiversity by establishing novel ways to increase tree planting in cities, towns and countryside. In total, five pilots will be launched across England as part of the scheme.

The pilots will be jointly delivered by DEFRA, The Tree Council, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Highways England, Network Rail and five local authorities in England.

Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Contract Services at Chichester District Council, said: "We are really pleased to be one of the five local authorities who will be working alongside DEFRA on this exciting project to increase tree planting in our district.

"Although this project is still in the early stages, we have already recruited a project officer to take this work forward. They will be on hand to offer advice and to ensure residents, businesses, community groups and landowners can access all the available funding for tree planting in the district.

"We will also be taking part in other pilot schemes around enhancing hedgerow trees and orchards, and we look forward to keeping everyone updated on this.

"All of these projects will further enhance the work that we are already doing to combat climate change as laid out in our draft Climate Emergency Detailed Action Plan. Tree planting is a key part of this plan, along with other proposals such as: creating a Citizens' Assembly, which would be made up of members of the public who would learn about climate change from experts and then make recommendations to help inform council decision-making; helping businesses and organisations to develop projects that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and, continuing to reduce the council's own greenhouse gas emissions."

The scheme will make trees and funding available to individuals, homeowners, schools, community groups, private landowners and tenant farmers. For more information on the project and the funding that may be available to you, please email: treescheme@chichester.gov.uk or telephone: 01243 785166 (extension 21161) or visit Chichester District tree scheme.

Date of release: 18 January 2021

Reference: 3968