Urban Tree Challenge Fund

Funding for public bodies, community groups, charities, individuals, to support the planting and establishment of large and small trees in urban and peri-urban areas of England.

The Urban Tree Challenge Fund has been developed in response to the Government’s commitment to provide £10 million for planting both large and small trees in and around England’s towns and cities.

The initiative will support Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan, whilst also contributing to meeting the government’s commitment to plant one million urban trees by 2022 Urban trees are said to offer a range of benefits, including temperature moderation, flood risk mitigation, and improved wellbeing – particularly when in close proximity to large populations.

The Fund will contribute to delivering these benefits through the targeted planting of at least 20,000 large trees and 110,000 small trees in urban and peri-urban areas.The support is being offered on a competitive basis, targeting projects providing the greatest environmental, social and economic benefits to towns and cities across the country.

Applications for 2020/2021 will be accepted for small, single planting sites. For those including large trees the minimum value will be £5,000. For applications with only small trees, the minimum value will be £1,150.

It is expected that applicants will not need to plant their trees until the next tree planting season (winter 2020/21), and the hope is that COVID-19 will not impact on tree planting activity.

However, due to the group nature of this activity, the Forestry Commission will reassess this in the future to follow government guidelines. Match Funding Restrictions Fund recipients should provide at least 50% match funding in the form of money or labour. Where labour is used as match funding, this must be converted into a monetary value to be included in the application.

Applicants will be required to detail the sources of funding and their value obtained to confirm they have adequate funding to deliver the project. Who Can Apply Applications will be accepted from public bodies, community groups, charities and non-government organisations, individuals and private companies in England.

Restrictions Grants cannot be used to support the planting of trees required under a planning consent or restocking condition or as part of a tenancy agreement. In addition, grants cannot be used to support the replacement of trees. Checks may be undertaken to confirm that trees have not been in a proposed project location for at least three years.

Eligible Expenditure

The UTCF provides capital funding to plant and establish trees that are an appropriate size for the setting in which they are planted; be it a street tree or a small community woodland.Payments will contribute to the cost of weeding, watering and checking trees.

How To Apply

Round 2 of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund is currently open for small tree planting applications.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, this deadline has been extended to 30 June 2020.Those wishing to apply should submit an Expression of Interest and return to UTCF@forestrycommission.gov.ukCapital payments for tree planting will be provided, followed by three years of establishment payments. The three years of establishment payments are paid in two lump sums. Payments for tree planting and the first year of establishment will be paid following receipt of a claim form following completion of the works in year one.

The second installment of establishment payments will be available two years later following the submission of a claim.

Details at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/urban-tree-challenge-fund