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Environment Environment

Plant 1 million trees in towns and cities

Last updated: 10:50am 15 January 2019

In addition to the 11 million trees we are planting across our nation, we will ensure that 1 million more are planted in our towns and cities, and place new duties on councils to consult when they wish to cut down street trees.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.25

Our verdict

There is plenty of evidence of the benefits of trees in urban environments. With that in mind, tree planting is a key part of the government’s 25 Year Plan to improve the environment, launched in January 2018.

Although there are mechanisms in place to keep track of the government’s broader promise to plant 11 million trees in England between 2015 and 2022, we can’t find statistics relating directly to the pledge to plant 1 million trees in towns and cities.

But in June 2018, a “Tree Champion” was appointed by the Environment Secretary to “drive forward planting rates and prevent the unnecessary felling of street trees”. Sir William Worsley’s responsibilities as Tree Champion include “supporting the planting of one million urban trees”.

We currently have no figures for the number of trees planted in towns and cities, but the appointment of a Tree Champion to oversee the planting programme demonstrates at least some movement towards carrying out this policy, so for now we’re marking it as ‘in progress’.

We’ll keep an eye out for measurable evidence of a million trees springing up in urban areas by the end of the government’s term of office, in which case we will move this to ‘done’. Follow this policy for updates!

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