What is the Local Authority Treescapes Fund?
Defra has announced the Local Authority Treescapes Fund (LATF) to increase tree planting and natural regeneration in local communities. £2.7m will be available this year (2021/22), building the pipeline of projects for community planting in future years. The fund is part of the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund and will directly contribute to achieving our ambitious tree planting targets.
This fund is aimed at establishing more trees in non-woodland settings such as in riverbanks, hedgerows, parklands, urban areas, beside roads and footpaths, in copses and shelterbelts, including neglected, disused and vacant community spaces. Trees in these settings are particularly valuable as they can provide the greatest levels of benefit to ecosystems and society, such as carbon absorption, flood protection and support for biodiversity, as well as connecting fragmented habitats.
The fund will help the nation build back greener from the pandemic and will target landscapes that have been neglected in the past, ecologically damaged or affected by tree diseases like ash dieback – with ash being the most common species of tree found in non-woodland locations. We expect that up to 50 grants worth £50,000 to £300,000 will be available for local authorities, working together with community groups, volunteers and NGOs. Successful applicants will be informed by the end of July.
Who can apply?
Funding will be available to all local authorities, via applications led by top tier authorities. Local authorities are strongly encouraged to work with other organisations, NGOs, community groups and private individuals to deliver tree planting and natural regeneration.
Applications will be accepted from unitary and top tier local authorities in England:
- 25 County Councils (upper tier)
- 32 London Boroughs (unitary)
- 36 Metropolitan Boroughs (unitary)
- 56 Unitary authorities (unitary)
- 2 Sui Generis authorities – City of London Corporation and Isles of Scilly (unitary)
More information on eligible Local Authorities is available.
Can lower tier LAs apply?
If the top tier LA in an area is not making an application, but several lower tier LA’s have formed a group, they can apply via a group bid, however one lead applicant will be required to be the Lead Applicant. Group applications must be limited to one group per top tier LA area.
How many years of tree planting does the grant fund?
The LATF is a capital only grant and covers costs of tree planting or natural colonisation activities carried out in the 2021-2022 financial year. It also funds the cost of maintenance activities for years 2 -4.
How do I apply?
Each application should be made by the nominated lead applicant for the Local Authority area.
You can apply using the LATF application pack, this includes:
- Local Authority Treescapes Fund: application form
- annex A: cost calculator
- guidance to applicants detailing the full eligibility criteria
- example Local Authority Treescapes Fund Memorandum of Understanding
Please note that due to current Coronavirus guidance many staff are working from home, for this reason we are unable to provide the Application Pack via post.
When can I apply?
The fund is now open for applications. The deadline for applications is 23:59 Wednesday 30 June 2021. You can check this webpage for any updates to the application window or subscribe to Forestry Commission eAlerts.
What are the application requirements?
The LATF application pack contains details of all application requirements. The main sections of the application form require the following information:
- basic details of the lead LA and participating local authorities and delivery partners
- a brief description of the current distribution and condition of the non-woodland trees in the application area
- an outline of the high-level restoration plan for planting and/or natural colonisation
- an overview of the project delivery plan
- an estimate of costs to deliver the plan and maintenance costs i.e. your total LATF bid
LAs will be expected to commit to reporting requirements, agree to the Memorandum of Understanding and confirm they have carried out required due diligence in compiling planting plans.
Making a claim
The LATF claims form is currently being revised. An updated LATF claims form will be published in January 2022.
For those local authorities who have existing LATF agreements, we will send you the claims form ready to submit your second claim for first-year funding in January 2022.
For further information please contact LATF@forestrycommission.gov.uk.
I am interested in applying for LATF, how do I find out more?
Further information on Forestry Commission Grants available
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