The Liberal Democrats are proposing an increase in the number of trees planted every year to 700,000- 750,000 - equivalent to the number of children born in England and Wales each year.
This is part of a Nature Act that is being drawn up for the Lib Dem 2015 manifesto. This includes targets for clean air and water, and a plan to safeguard natural resources that are being harvested at unsustainable levels.
British forests would be placed in a trust to prevent them from being privatised, and the bill would include an increase in penalties for enforcement and punishment of environmental and wildlife crime.
These proposals will be published later in the summer as part of the Liberal Democrats Pre-Manifesto, which will be considered at the party’s Autumn Conference.
Trees play a vital role in keeping our air clean and alleviating the effects of flooding. The Lib Dem plans would expand the Forestry Commission’s existing ‘Big Tree Plant’ which encourages and supports community groups to plant trees in their area.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Environment Minister Dan Rogerson said:
"This is an ambitious target- to plant 750,000 trees a year is not easy, but is right. People across the country recognise that our environment matters. We have a duty to safeguard our natural habitat for future generations, and these plans are an opportunity to capture people’s imagination."
In Government, the Lib Dems blocked the privatisation of Natural England, and are committed to ensuring that our environment is protected for future generations to enjoy.