TWO new community tree and woodland planting roles will be made available at Oxfordshire County Council in a bid to improve tree planting across the county.

The authority will receive £150,000 in funding from the Government’s Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund to create the jobs which will aim to identify opportunities to deliver tree planting.

The Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund has offered a share of £9.8 million in funding to 57 local authorities across England to bring on board new staff and access the professional expertise needed to drive tree planting and woodland creation activity at a local level.

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More than 100 new green jobs will be created across the country, with an emphasis on upskilling professionals from outside the forestry sector.

Oxfordshire County Council will create two new community tree and woodland planting roles as part of its collaboration with Oxford City Council and Cherwell, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse and West Oxfordshire district councils.

The two new recruits will work to increase tree cover through training volunteer groups and further engaging the local community in woodland creation activities.

Councillor Pete Sudbury, the authority’s cabinet member for climate change and environment, said: “We know we need to play catch-up with the increasing impacts of climate change.

“One of the most versatile and effective ways of tackling many climate impacts, including heat, storm, heavy rainfall, and soil erosion, is planting trees.

“Understanding and agreeing what trees to plant, and where, is a high priority of all Oxfordshire’s councils and the money from this joint bid for funding will allow us to do that as rapidly as possible.”

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Richard Stanford, chief executive of the Forestry Commission, added: “Local authorities have set out a range of inspiring and ambitious plans which equate to more than 10 million trees being planted on public land across England by 2025.

“The Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund will provide the support and resource needed to turn these aspirations into results, marking a significant step forward in our collective efforts to treble planting rates in England.

“Growing both our treescapes and the forestry sector workforce through this fund demonstrates how protecting and restoring our natural world with trees can unlock environmental, economic and social benefits for everyone.” 

Planting will take place across the country, in both deprived areas with lower tree cover, as well as through ambitious schemes expanding existing woodlands in rural settings.

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Since the fund’s launch in June, an additional £2m has been made available through the government’s £750m Nature for Climate Fund in response to the high level of interest in the grant.


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This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing:

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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