The Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF) has been developed in response to the Government’s commitment to provide £10 million for planting trees in and around England’s towns and cities. The initiative supports the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and contributes to its pledge to plant one million urban trees by 2022.
Urban trees are said to offer a range of benefits, including temperature moderation, flood risk mitigation, and improved wellbeing - particularly when in close proximity to large populations. The support is being offered on a competitive basis, targeting projects providing the greatest environmental, social and economic benefits to towns and cities across the country - be it a street tree or a small community woodland.
The UTCF first opened in 2019 and to date has held two rounds of funding. This current, third round of funding is open for the planting of standard trees only, to both block bids and individual applications. A block bid is designed for organisations to apply for funding for multiple projects that can be geographically dispersed or focused in one area but submitted under one application.
The guideline for block bids is a minimum UTCF funding requirement of £250,000 and there is no maximum value. Individual applications are for smaller, focused areas of planting undertaken by small organisations or community groups. These individual applications will need a minimum funding requirement of £10,000 up to a maximum of £30,000.
The minimum number of trees on any individual planting site is 10. A minimum 50% of total planting should be undertaken in the first planting year (if planting over two years). The grant contributes 50% of the full cost of undertaking.
Applications are accepted from community and volunteer groups, town councils and individuals wishing to plant trees in urban areas of England. Applicants must have full management control over the land or signed consent from those with such control.
The application window for Round 3 will open on Monday 26 April 2021. Applications must be received by 25 July 2021 (23:59 BST).
Those wishing to apply should submit an Expression of Interest and return to [email protected]
Capital payments for tree planting will be provided, followed by three years of establishment payments. The three years of establishment payments are paid in two lump sums. Payments for tree planting and the first year of establishment will be paid following receipt of a claim form following completion of the works in year one. The second instalment of establishment payments will be available two years later following the submission of a claim.