Major landowners must plant more trees to help fight the climate crisis, says Friends of the Earth.
Currently, England’s woodland cover stands at just 10% and according to Friends of the Earth in order to tackle the climate crisis, this percentage must significantly increase.
Some of Englands biggest institutional landowners have levels of woodland cover that is much lower than the national average.
In the last place is the Church Commissioners, the investment arm of the Church of England, whose 105,000-acre estate has just 3% woodland cover.
The Prince of Wales’ 130,000-acre estate is also just 6% woodland.
The Prince and the Church are surpassed even by Highways England, who also have 13,588 acres of woodland growing by the side of motorways, 11% of their total landholdings.
Friends of the Earth trees campaigner, Guy Shrubsole, said: ‘Much of England is owned by a very small number of landowners, who have a responsibility to better use their land in a way that helps address the climate and nature crises facing us all.
‘A big part of this means growing more trees, which would remove planet-wrecking carbon from the air and provide homes for wildlife.
‘The Government shouted from the rooftops about the launch of the England Tree Strategy but didn’t even set a tree target for the country.
‘This lack of ambition shows a complete disregard for the climate crisis. Ministers must turn this around, by committing to a target to double UK tree cover and providing better incentives for landowners to grow more trees and rewild their estates.’
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