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North tree planting project hoped to absorb 600,000 tonnes of CO2

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North tree planting project hoped to absorb 600,000 tonnes of CO2


Plans to expand woodland across England by the size of more than 3,000 football pitches have been unveiled.

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The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) hopes the mass planting will absorb 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2050.

Humber and Mersey Forests, the Northern Forest and Great Northumberland Forest will benefit from the scheme's funding.

Forestry Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith said the scheme would tackle climate change and improve health.

"Our economies, livelihoods and wellbeing all rely on nature," he said.

The plans to plant 2,300 hectares (5,680 acres) of trees will focus on areas with the lowest woodland cover.

"Larger, well-designed and more diverse woodlands" would be created, Defra said.

Woodlands with a variety of species are more resilient to climate change because different types of trees have distinctive tolerances to heat and drought.

Mixed woodlands are also better at weathering hazards such as wildfires and storms than the monoculture timber forests and can help reduce flooding by slowing the flow of water.

Chairman of the Forestry Commission, Sir William Worsley, said the social, environmental and economic benefits of being in woodlands were "well-documented".


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