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English Tree Strategy consultation launched: Friends of the Earth challenges lack of target

news release

Strategy will be used to decide how the £640 million ‘nature for climate fund’ will be spent to deliver on tree planting commitments

Friends of the Earth is campaigning to double tree cover as part of the fight against climate and nature breakdown 

The government has launched a consultation on a new tree strategy, setting out policies to expand tree cover in England. Commenting on the lack of targets contained in the consultation documents, Guy Shrubsole, trees campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:  

“The draft England Tree Strategy does not set a tree target for England, and the measures it proposes would at best raise England’s woodland cover from only 10% currently to just 12% by 2050 which makes this woefully inadequate.

“A strategy without a target is pointless and it’s a strange refusal from government to fail to set one. Trees capture planet-wrecking emissions from the atmosphere so it’s even more perplexing that the draft lacks ambition and fails to match the scale of the climate challenge.

“We have more than enough suitable land in England to double tree cover, yet the government appears to be saying England should hope for the best and rely on devolved nations doing more.

“Friends of the Earth is calling on the government for nothing less than a doubling of UK tree cover. This is an unmissable opportunity to help fix the climate emergency and make more space for our rapidly declining nature.”


For more information contact the Friends of the Earth press office on 020 7566 1649 / 07718 394786 (out of hours – please do not text this number) or by emailing 

Notes to editors: 

  1. Friends of the Earth wants to double tree cover as part of our fight against climate and nature breakdown. Doubling tree cover could remove 10% of the planet-wrecking emissions in the UK annually.   
  2. Find out more about Friends of the Earth’s tree campaign, and sign the petition calling for the government to double tree cover, by visiting  
  3. About Friends of the Earth: Friends of the Earth is an international community dedicated to the protection of the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. We bring together more than two million people in 75 countries, combining people power all over the world to transform local actions into global impact. For more information visit: follow us at @friends_earth, or like our Facebook page. 

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