The Clyde Climate Forest (CCF) has today received confirmation of a £200,000 funding boost from the eight local councils across the Glasgow City Region.
The funding was approved by the Glasgow City Region Cabinet as part of a dedicated allocation from each of the member councils' UK Government Shared Prosperity Funding.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet and Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "The Clyde Climate Forest has the potential to provide a significant response to the climate and ecological emergency. Our ambition to plant 18million trees across the City Region over the next decade will bring multiple benefits to our local communities, to Scotland and to our planet.
"This funding support will certainly help drive that ambition forward."
The Shared Prosperity Fund is part of the UK Government's central mission to level up opportunity and prosperity. It is also about levelling up people's pride in the place they love, creating a stronger social fabric and better life chances.
In addition, the councils also formally pledged to help deliver the CCF's 18 million trees over the next decade as part of a Concordat agreement to help tackle both the climate and biodiversity emergencies. In particular, the councils have committed to identify tree planting sites in urban areas vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, to facilitate tree planting in these 'target neighbourhoods' and to align council resources with CCF resources.
Added to the funding boost from the eight councils in the Region, Scottish Forestry has also confirmed its commitment to continued support of the CCF's ambitions with an extra £70,000 of funding.
The new trees will help soak up rainwater in downpours, create cooling effects in heatwaves and provide vital wildlife habitat. The councils have also committed to identify land holdings appropriate for woodland creation as part of their plans to achieve 'Net Zero'.
Max Hislop, Director of Clyde Climate Forest, said: "I am delighted that we have received this funding boost with all eight local councils agreeing that the Clyde Climate Forest has a vital role to play in making Glasgow City Region resilient to the impacts of a changing climate, helping to achieve 'Net Zero', and repairing our damaged ecosystems.
"Delivering the change at scale required for our regional tree, woodland and forest resource can only be achieved with a committed resource sustained over a long period. This funding helps the CCF in its decade long pursuit of ambitious tree planting targets."
The creation of new woodlands and forests across the city-region will lock up atmospheric carbon and help create new jobs. Ultimately, they will also provide a renewable resource of timber which could be used in the construction industry helping to reduce the need for concrete and steel which generates a lot of carbon emissions in their production.
The Clyde Climate Forest was launched in June 2021. Since then, the project has seen over 1.2 million trees planted areas across the region. Of these, around 50,000 trees have been planted in urban areas by local schoolchildren and community groups. Many landowners have been approached to plant woodlands in key locations for wildlife with several projects in development, and tree planting assessments have been completed of council owned land.
All eight councils have committed to supporting delivery of the Clyde Climate Forest and to embed CCF targets into their own plans and policies, helping toward the authorities own Net Zero ambitions.
UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said:"The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is about empowering local leaders and communities, and it is great to see the whole region working together to deliver the Clyde Climate Forest. This will support climate and biodiversity goals and create a better environment for residents to enjoy.
"The Glasgow City Region is benefiting from £74 million from the UKSPF as part of £2.3 billion from the UK Government to support levelling up across Scotland."
The Clyde Climate Forest is delivering part of the Glasgow & Clyde Valley Green Network, with support from Green Action Trust, TCV, Glasgow City Region, Trees for Cities, Scottish Forestry and Woodland Trust Scotland. Following today's announcement, the CCF will receive £200,000 from the UK Government through the Shared Prosperity Fund.
You can get involved in tree planting, donate or support a local project at: https://www.clydeclimateforest.co.uk/ways-to-support-us