Spread the love

If you are a landowner and are interested in planting a woodland, trees, hedgerows or a community orchard, the Forest of Avons Trees for Climate grant scheme can fund 100% of the costs.

Interested in planting trees? Enquiries are now open for our generous Trees for Climate grant for planting this November (and beyond!)

The Forest of Avon has substantial funding to help support tree and woodland creation and management. We are here to help you to plant and make a difference.

Our Tree and Woodland Officers offer expert advice and bespoke support to get your planting project off (or in?) the ground. Contact us today on treesforclimate@forestofavontrust.org

As a regional charity, we have good local knowledge and work effectively with the landowner to align TfC grants to their needs. Our Tree and Woodland officers can give expert local advice to landowners on how to maximise the benefits that are bespoke to the site.

What is Trees for Climate?

In 2020, Englands Community Forests, including the Forest of Avon, were successful in a bid for a five-year Trees for Climate woodland creation programme for over 5,000 ha of trees and woodland to be delivered by partners by 2025. We are now in the process of planning for Year 4 planting season, seeking new landowners to collaborate with to increase our regions tree cover.

TfC is a community forest grant and support scheme available to landowners within the Forest of Avon catchment area, funded through Defra. This covers the four local authorities – BANES, Bristol, North Somerset and South Glos. Trees for Climate can help fund 100% of the costs associated with new planting and generous payments to cover up to 15 years of wood and land management. This means we do not just plant and forget. Maintenance is entrenched in our delivery.

As a regional charity, we have good local knowledge and work effectively with the landowner to align a TfC grant to their needs. Our Tree and Woodland officers produce detailed surveys and checks to ensure that we plant the right tree in the right place for both wildlife to thrive and increase the trees survival rates. They will take the landowner through the whole process, can arrange delivery and will complete all regulatory work where required.

The grant is flexible to meet the needs of the project (within reason) and costs are approved after a site visit and grant application *TfC is funded by Defra through Englands Community Forests.

*TfC is for new planting and cannot be used to fund replacement planting where the land is already dedicated as woodland; or for gapping up hedgerows.

What can Trees for Climate Fund?

Trees for Climate is incredibly flexible and supports a wide variety of tree and woodland landscapes which will all support different wildlife and has the opportunity to involve the community in tree planting and maintenance.

Trees for Climate is incredibly flexible and can help fund:

  • Woodlands: Any size over 1 ha
  • Orchards: Any size over 1 ha (around 15 vigorous or 30 semi-vigorous fruit trees (non- commercial)
  • Wood pasture: Any size over 1 ha
  • Hedgerows: Any length over 100m
  • Natural regeneration /colonisation: Considered on a case-by-case

What have we managed so far?

We are now in Year 4 of Trees for Climate for this region and aim to work with more landowners to help transform the regions tree canopy cover. In Year 3 (2022/23), we achieved 80 hectares and planted 62,000 trees with our landowners and volunteers. This is a fantastic achievement, and we hope to go further this year.

The Forest of Avon are ambitious and working with multiple partners to deliver the Forest of Avon plan, where we hope to double our tree canopy cover by 2050. Trees for Climate is a crucial part of this transformational change across the region, and we hope to work with landowners to plant in both urban and rural areas.

Alex Stone, Director: “Trees for Climate enables us to grow the Forest of Avon whilst supporting landowners and communities to feel they are making a contribution to support our wildlife, climate and quality of life now and in the future. We can make this bespoke to your needs. Englands Community Forests are running the largest woodland creation programme in England, and we are so lucky to have a community forest here in the West of England”.

Strategic Woodland Areas
(Hyperlink will take you to exact pages of the plan)

Although the whole of the West of England has a role in delivering the vision for trees and woodland, there are certain areas in which action is likely to be especially effective. The Forest of Avon Plan, created in 2021, highlights the key priority areas across the region where tree and woodland planting will have the most positive impact.

These areas include:

  • Lower Woods (South Glos)Lower Woods is the most extensive area of ancient woodland in the West of England. However, Lower Woods is isolated from other large areas of woodland, with particularly poor connectivity to the West. Creation of woodland and/or other supporting habitat between Lower Woods and the Cotswold Scarp would improve the connectivity of Lower Woods to woodland in the West of England and Gloucestershire, as well as potentially providing natural flood management in a priority area as identified by the Environment Agency.


  • North Somerset Woods The area is especially important in enabling populations of bats, including the rare and protected Greater and Lesser Horseshoe species, to forage and migrate across the wider landscape. These woodlands are also an important resource for people, being located close to the urban centres of Bristol, Nailsea, Portishead and Clevedon. Area of interest specifically falls in the Failand Ridge.


  • Mendip Hills and Cotswold Link The Cotswolds AONB and Mendip Hills AONB are important areas for both wildlife and people in the West of England and are critical in connecting habitats in the West of England to the wider landscape. However, there is a lack of high-quality habitat in the area between the two AONBs, and low levels of woodland Strategic woodland creation, building on the existing pockets of ancient woodland, alongside creation and restoration of other habitat types, could provide an ecological link between the two AONBs, as well as providing recreational opportunities and improved access to nature in the area.


  • Bathscape (BANES)- In 2018, the Bathscape Scheme was launched to promote better management and use of Bathscape, making it more accessible and helping to ensure it is appreciated and actively enjoyed by more people in Bath. Woodland creation and tree planting could build on the Bathscape scheme to better connect the woodlands surrounding Bath with the wider landscape.


Case Study Examples of Trees for Climate

Located in South Gloucestershire, Friends Wood is the vision of local landowner David Graham, whose passion for community and creating a habitat for wildlife is at the forefront of this project.

David said “The lockdown enabled me to reappraise the role and importance of nature. You could see nature blossoming through six months of lockdown and I felt there was more I could do using my time, energy and money to help. I realise Im not going to solve the worlds carbon problems, but I might be able to help with biodiversity and thats really at the core of my project.”

He started looking for funding and stumbled across the Forest of Avon Trust. He looked at the Forest of Avon strategic priority areas and the map included his field, which David described as ‘massively exciting.

David applied for funding through our Trees for Climate grant and began working with our Tree and Woodland Officer Jack, who was able to provide advice and valuable feedback. Six months later, 445 trees were planted by scout groups and friends in the local community during some extremely bad weather, and Friends Wood (named after the friends who helped plant it) became a reality.

Looking to the future, David has plenty of ideas to engage his local community with the project, including creating wood chipping from hedgerow cuttings on site, offering training on hedgerows laying, running a mini tree nursery and planting wildflower seeds with local scout groups. “Its lovely space that encourages wildlife and theres the satisfaction of seeing things grow. I know its going to be there long after Im gone and theres something about the longevity and permanence of it to help others.”

Future Woodland

Future woodland is a new 1.5-hectare woodland and is located in Holcombe, North Somerset. In total 1880 trees were planted.

Walking down to Future Woodland, a woodland the entrance framed by a silver birch which is growing out of a dead trunk, you can see an old woodland surrounding this pocket of tree planting, reflecting how Future Woodland will look overtime.

The old woodland, which surrounds Future Woodland, is a place of family nostalgia. These were the grandchildrens childhood woods where they would come down to play. Being surrounded by a small woodland at the bottom of the hill and looking up to the empty field, the family began thinking, could we expand this habitat for nature to thrive?

“If this woodland can thrive, then why cant this one”?

As soon as we stepped into Future Woodland, each member of the family went on a tree inspection. All looking down into the tree guards, they checked each tree and gave them all some words of encouragement. The family reflected on the family planting days this season and how rewarding the experience has been. Previously, this land was rented to farmers, however over a couple of years both grandchildren and grandparents have thought, maybe we could plant trees?

With so many schemes to choose from, the family found grants difficult to navigate. They contacted the Forest of Avon Trust, and we provided information for the Trees for Climate Direct Delivery scheme. The ability for the Trees for Climate fund to plan and deliver the project made it an attractive offer. The whole family, across four generations, helped to plant the trees that will create ‘Future Woodland. To celebrate, a member of the family read out a poem on the importance of trees and giving the land back to nature.

The new woodland has enabled the Youngs family to leave their legacy on the land for their grandchildren, great grandchildren and wildlife to enjoy in the future. This is a family woodland at heart.

– Who are the Forest of Avon? –

The Forest of Avon is part of England’s network of Community Forests established in the 1990s with the aim of helping everyone in our local communities to connect and care for their trees and to expand our trees and woodlands.

The Forest of Avon Trust charity leads on the delivery of tree and woodland strategy in the region with the Forest of Avon Plan, released in 2021. The Plan sets out the critical need to increase our trees and woodlands at an accelerated pace, with the aim to double tree cover by 2050.

The Forest of Avon Trust delivers a grant and support programme, Trees for Climate to fund new woodland creation as part of Defras Nature for Climate Fund. The Forest of Avon Trust is supporting up to 500 hectares of new woodland creation between 2020 and 2025.

With people at the centre of its values, other Forest of Avon activity includes woodland health and wellbeing projects, forest school, woodland management, and access projects.

Passionate about trees and woodlands | Forest of Avon Trust Facebook (20+) Forest of Avon Trust | Facebook

Instagram Forest of Avon Trust (@forestofavon) • Instagram photos and videos Twitter Forest of Avon Trust (@forestofavon) / Twitter