More trees are needed from ten largest landowners: More trees need to be grown by England’s largest landowners to help store carbon and tackle climate change.

Friends of the Earth has made the call, which claims some of the biggest English landowners have woodland cover ‘even lower than the weak national average’ – it urges landowners such as the Duchy of Cornwall and the Church Commissioners to use their estates to grow more trees.

The latter, which is the investment arm of the Church of England, has only 3% woodland cover, but boasts a 105,000-acre estate – the average national woodland cover figure currently stands at 10%.

Similarly, the Duchy of Cornwall estate owned by the Prince of Wales’, 130,000-acre has just 6% woodland cover.

Major landowners who recorded better statistics include – Highways England which has 13,588 acres of woodland growing by the side of motorways, 11% of the organisation’s total land, while with more than 400,000 acres of wooded areas is the Forestry Commission who tops the list.

It was found there is enough suitable land in England to triple tree cover in England in a recent analysis of unpublished Forestry Commission data.

Guy Shrubsole, Friends of the Earth trees Campaigner, 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.”

More trees are needed from ten largest landowners

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