London

Our vision for London is a city rich in native woods and trees, for nature and for people. To deliver this vision, we have set out the following policies for the next Mayor of London. 

1. Increase native tree cover for London 

  • Increase London’s native tree canopy cover by 20% by 2050.
  • Expand the London Urban Forest Partnership bringing together business, boroughs and NGOs. Use tree cover mapping to identify priority areas for woodland extension, connection and wildlife corridor creation, and broker funding to help deliver this.  
  • Make a core commitment to planting 4 million native trees (1 million per year) during the four-year term. 


2. Better protection and funding for London’s trees and woods 

  • Establish a London tree and woodland maintenance fund.  
  • Develop and deliver a mechanism so that a proportion of developer contributions, including net gain payments, support maintenance and protection of existing trees and woods on GLA, TfL and, in partnership, borough land.  
  • Look to use the fund to, in particular, support mature street tree retention and where necessary, replacement planting to avoid loss of canopy cover. 

3. Better protection for the capital’s ancient woodland and veteran trees 

  • Be an active defender of London’s ancient woods and veteran trees. 
  • Work with the boroughs to identify and refuse all planning applications that would damage ancient woods or veteran trees.  
  • Actively support the recording of all ancient and veteran trees in London to deliver a completed Ancient Tree Inventory for the capital within the four-year term.  

4. Enhance London’s environmental security through a public money for public goods approach: natural capital for the nation’s capital  

  • Trail-blaze a public money for public goods approach through the GLA’s green recovery delivery programme, championed by a specific deputy mayoral role. 
  • Require all GLA funded schemes over £100,000 to maximise the benefits of trees and woods within green infrastructure delivery. 

5. Promote biosecurity, protecting London’s natural environment from pests and disease 

  • Tackle tree disease by becoming the first UK and Ireland Sourced and Grown city, with a London-wide commitment to plant only UK and Ireland sourced and grown tree stock. 
  • Ensure all trees planted or funded by the GLA are UKISG sourced. This will include updating procurement guides, making UKISG a condition of GLA brokered funding and encouraging all boroughs and other landowners to sign up.  
  • Working to establish a Mayor’s London Tree Nursery within the green belt, and work with the boroughs to establish a network of local nurseries sourcing nearby seeds. 

6. Support trees and woods for the people of London 

  • Commit to enhancing access to nature and woodland as a policy priority 
  • Use mayoral planning powers to call in major schemes delivering insufficient access to nature. 
  • Deliver the recommendations in the report Improving Londoners’ Access to Nature to reduce or alleviate areas of deficiency, particularly by planting trees where they will produce the most benefit.  

We are asking mayoral candidates to commit to these policies and to agree to have their delivery rigorously monitored and assessed by an independent environmental auditor, in combination with the GLA’s Environment Committee.   

Greater Manchester 

1. Support the Northern Forest by helping to plant more trees

  • Actively ensure proper resource to plant a tree for every resident in Greater Manchester (2.8m) by 2038 (in line with the city region’s zero carbon commitment). Create a clear plan for achieving this in partnership with local authorities and others, informed by All Our Trees, the Tree and Woodland Strategy for Greater Manchester.
  • Convene discussions with public and private landowners from across the city region to identify suitable sites for woodland creation.
  • Work with councils, landowners and developers to achieve at least 30% tree canopy cover across all areas of new development in the city region.

2. Better protection and funding for trees

  • Develop and deliver a mechanism so that a proportion of developer contributions support maintenance and protection of existing trees and woods on local and combined authority land.
  • This fund should look to - in particular - support mature street tree retention and where necessary replacement planting to avoid loss of canopy cover.

3. Better protection for ancient woodland and veteran trees

  • Be an active defender of ancient woods and veteran trees, and commit to visiting a local ancient woodland to learn more about the unique value of these irreplaceable habitats.
  • Ensure that no ancient woodland or ancient and veteran trees are adversely impacted by regional spatial strategies.
  • Work with those responsible for environmental management in local authorities and others (e.g. voluntary tree wardens) to record ancient and veteran trees in the Ancient Tree Inventory as a routine part of any arboricultural work.

4. Promote biosecurity and tackle tree disease

  • Take a lead in tackling tree disease with a city region wide long-term ambition to plant only UK and Ireland sourced and grown tree stock.
  • Work to establish one or several local municipal tree nurseries - sourcing nearby seeds and stock - with a view to ultimately achieving only UK and Ireland sourced and grown tree stock.
  • Encourage all districts to adopt an Ash Dieback Action Plan, informed by Woodland Trust best practice guidance.

5. Improve access to nature

  • The importance of access to nature for health, wellbeing and exercise was made stark during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. The mayor should build on this public goodwill and appreciation by enhancing access to nature and woodland as a policy priority.

West Midlands Combined Authority

If elected as Mayor of the West Midlands I will recognise the important contribution that trees and woods can play in building back better from the coronavirus pandemic and in tackling the climate and biodiversity emergencies. In particular I will:

1. Increase native tree cover for the West Midlands

  • Encourage all councils across the West Midlands to adopt a tree strategy (if they do not currently have one), map their tree canopy cover and set ambitious targets for its expansion, using both tree planting and natural regeneration.
  • Create and resource a West Midlands Forest Partnership bringing together business, LEPs, councils and NGOs. Encourage this partnership to use tree canopy cover mapping to identify priority areas for large scale woodland extension and tree planting.
  • Work to deliver the West Midlands Combined Authority Climate Action Plan target of planting a tree for every person across the West Midlands and surrounding counties and to do this by 2035, or earlier if possible.
  • Promote the West Midlands Virtual Forest as an information resource for those interested in tree planting, and as a means of recording trees, woods and hedgerows that have been planted.
  • Work with councils, landowners and developers to achieve at least 30% tree canopy cover across areas of new development in the West Midlands.

2. Better protect and fund trees and woods

  • Work with councils to ensure that where non-woodland trees are removed, at least three new trees are planted, as close to the original location as possible, and that these are predominantly UK and Ireland sourced and grown.
  • Encourage councils and landowners across the West Midlands to seek Forest Stewardship Council accreditation to ensure that their trees and woods are brought into management in an environmentally sustainable way. Also commit the WMCA to specify use of FSC certified timber on any construction projects within its control or influence.
  • Work with those responsible for environmental management in local authorities and others (e.g. voluntary tree wardens) to record ancient and veteran trees in the Ancient Tree Inventory as a routine part of any arboricultural work.
  • Actively support and promote the completion of the Ancient Woodland Inventory within the West Midlands region by the end of my four year term.

3. Enhance the West Midlands’ environmental security through delivering natural capital

  • Work with the West Midlands Natural Capital Roundtable, Sustainability West Midlands and other regional bodies to embed natural capital principles in the policies and strategies of the WMCA.
  • Require all WMCA funded schemes over £100,000 in value to maximise the benefits of trees and woods within green infrastructure delivery.

4. Promote biosecurity, protecting the West Midlands’ natural environment from pests and disease

  • Take a lead in tackling tree disease by ensuring all trees planted or funded by the WMCA are predominantly UK and Ireland sourced and grown.
  • Work to establish a Mayor’s Tree Nursery within the green belt, and work with constituent councils to establish a network of local nurseries sourcing stock from it and gathering nearby seeds.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

If elected as Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough I will recognise the important contribution that trees and woods can play in building back better from the coronavirus pandemic and in tackling the climate and biodiversity emergencies. In particular I will:

1. Increase native tree cover for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

  • Encourage all councils across the combined authority area to adopt a tree strategy or equivalent (if they do not currently have one), map their tree canopy cover and set ambitious targets for its expansion, using both tree planting and natural regeneration.
  • Recognising that Cambridgeshire is the least wooded county in England, seek to address this by extending the Forest for Peterborough concept of planting a tree for every resident across the whole combined authority area.
  • Support and help to deliver on the Natural Cambridgeshire target of doubling the land managed for nature across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough by 2050. Recognise that planting new trees and woodland has an important role to play in that.
  • Work with councils, landowners and developers to achieve at least 30% tree canopy cover across areas of new development in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
  • Require all Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority funded schemes over £100,000 in value to maximise the benefits of trees and woods within green infrastructure delivery.
  • Create and resource a Cambridgeshire Forest Partnership bringing together business, councils and NGOs and encourage this partnership to use tree canopy cover mapping to identify priority areas for large scale woodland planting.

2. Better protect and fund trees and woods

  • Work with councils to ensure that where non-woodland trees are removed, at least three new trees are planted, as close to the original location as possible, and that these are predominantly UK and Ireland sourced and grown.
  • Encourage councils and landowners across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to seek Forest Stewardship Council accreditation to ensure that their trees and woods are brought into management in an environmentally sustainable way. Also commit the combined authority to specifying use of FSC certified timber on any construction projects within its control or influence.
  • Work with those responsible for environmental management in local authorities and others (e.g. voluntary tree wardens) to record ancient and veteran trees in the Ancient Tree Inventory as a routine part of any arboricultural work.
  • Actively support and promote the completion of the Ancient Woodland Inventory across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire by the end of my four year term.

3. Promote biosecurity, protecting the natural environment from pests and disease

  • Take a lead in tackling tree disease by ensuring all trees planted or funded by the combined authority are predominantly UK and Ireland sourced and grown.
  • Work to establish a Mayor’s Tree Nursery and work with councils to establish a network of local nurseries sourcing stock from it and gathering nearby seeds.

Liverpool 

1. Support the Northern Forest by helping to plant more trees

  • Actively ensure proper resource for the Mersey Forest Plan to increase woodland cover to 20%, informed by ambitious and comprehensive local authority tree strategies.
  • Convene discussions with public and private landowners from across the city region to identify suitable sites for woodland creation.
  • Work with councils, landowners and developers to achieve at least 30% tree canopy cover across all areas of new development in the city region.

2. Better protection and funding for trees

  • Develop and deliver a mechanism so that a proportion of developer contributions support maintenance and protection of existing trees and woods on local and combined authority land.
  • This fund should look to - in particular - support mature street tree retention and where necessary replacement planting to avoid loss of canopy cover.

3. Better protection for ancient woodland and veteran trees

  • Be an active defender of ancient woods and veteran trees, and commit to visiting a local ancient woodland to learn more about the unique value of these irreplaceable habitats.
  • Ensure that no ancient woodland or ancient and veteran trees are adversely impacted by regional spatial strategies.
  • Work with those responsible for environmental management in local authorities and others (e.g. voluntary tree wardens) to record ancient and veteran trees in the Ancient Tree Inventory as a routine part of any arboricultural work.

4. Promote biosecurity and tackle tree disease

  • Take a lead in tackling tree disease with a city region wide long-term ambition to plant only UK and Ireland sourced and grown tree stock.
  • Work to establish one or several local municipal tree nurseries - sourcing nearby seeds and stock - with a view to ultimately achieving only UK and Ireland sourced and grown tree stock.
  • Encourage all districts to adopt an Ash Dieback Action Plan, informed by Woodland Trust best practice guidance.

5. Improve access to nature

  • The importance of access to nature for health, wellbeing and exercise was made stark during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. The mayor should build on this public goodwill and appreciation by enhancing access to nature and woodland as a policy priority.

West Yorkshire

1. Support the Northern Forest by helping to plant more trees

  • Actively ensure proper resource for the White Rose Forest Plan to increase woodland cover across West Yorkshire to one-third, informed by ambitious and comprehensive local authority tree strategies.
  • Convene discussions with public and private landowners from across the city region to identify suitable sites for woodland creation.
  • Work with councils, landowners and developers to achieve at least 30% tree canopy cover across all areas of new development in the city region.

2. Better protection and funding for trees

  • Develop and deliver a mechanism so that a proportion of developer contributions support maintenance and protection of existing trees and woods on local and combined authority land.
  • This fund should look to - in particular - support mature street tree retention and where necessary replacement planting to avoid loss of canopy cover.

3. Better protection for ancient woodland and veteran trees

  • Be an active defender of ancient woods and veteran trees, and commit to visiting a local ancient woodland to learn more about the unique value of these irreplaceable habitats.
  • Ensure that no ancient woodland or ancient and veteran trees are adversely impacted by regional spatial strategies.
  • Work with those responsible for environmental management in local authorities and others (e.g. voluntary tree wardens) to record ancient and veteran trees in the Ancient Tree Inventory as a routine part of any arboricultural work.

4. Promote biosecurity and tackle tree disease

  • Take a lead in tackling tree disease with a city region wide long-term ambition to plant only UK and Ireland sourced and grown tree stock.
  • Work to establish one or several local municipal tree nurseries - sourcing nearby seeds and stock - with a view to ultimately achieving only UK and Ireland sourced and grown tree stock.
  • Encourage all districts to adopt an Ash Dieback Action Plan, informed by Woodland Trust best practice guidance.

5. Improve access to nature

  • The importance of access to nature for health, wellbeing and exercise was made stark during the coronavirus disease lockdowns. The mayor should build on this public goodwill and appreciation by enhancing access to nature and woodland as a policy priority.

West of England 

Our vision is for a West of England rich in native woods and trees, for people and wildlife. How the next Mayor chooses to invest at this time of interrelated climate, nature and health crises will shape the West of England’s wellbeing, resilience and prosperity for years to come. We urge the next Mayor to act with the urgency that this emergency demands, and commit to working with nature to enable a future where we can all thrive. We ask you to support the following policies if elected as the next Mayor of the West of England.

1. Expand trees and woods in response to the climate and nature emergency

  • Champion and drive delivery of the West of England Nature Recovery Network, which sets out a spatial plan where people and nature can thrive.
  • Champion, ensure sufficient investment in, and drive delivery of the West of England Tree and Woodland Strategy, and its ambition to double tree cover in towns and woodland in the countryside. Work with unitary authorities to ensure strong policies that deliver for trees and woods. Champion the Forest of Avon as part of the UK network of Community Forests.
  • Recognise and invest in green infrastructure (such as trees to reduce flood risk, provide urban cooling and alleviate air pollution) as a critical component underpinning overall infrastructure delivery that delivers multiple benefits. Champion, ensure sufficient investment in, and drive delivery of the West of England Joint Green Infrastructure Strategy.
  • Drive leadership across the public estate by identifying and delivering suitable sites for woodland creation through the Joint Assets Board.

2. Protect our irreplaceable habitats

  • Be an active defender of ancient woods and veteran trees in the West of England. Ensure that no ancient woods or veteran trees are adversely impacted by regional spatial strategies.
  • Ensure a strong environmental evidence base for all future planning and development related decisions. Work with those responsible for environmental management in unitary authorities and others (e.g. voluntary tree wardens) to record ancient and veteran trees in the Ancient Tree Inventory as a routine part of arboricultural work.

3. Promote biosecurity, ensuring resilience to pests and disease

  • Ensure all trees planted or funded by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) are UK and Ireland Sourced and Grown (UKISG) by 2030. This includes updating procurement guidelines, making UKISG a condition of WECA-brokered funding and promoting use of UKISG by all local authorities, developers and landowners. Promote natural regeneration where appropriate.
  • Ensure all unitary authorities adopt an Ash Dieback Action Plan as part of local tree strategies, informed by best practice guidance.
  • Work to establish a West of England Tree Nursery within the green belt, and work with unitary authorities to establish a network of local nurseries sourcing nearby seeds.

4. Realise environmental security in the West of England by unlocking investment in natural solutions

  • Establish a natural capital investment mechanism that promotes a public money for public goods approach and delivers a high return on investment in natural solutions to the interrelated climate, nature and health crises.
  • Introduce an appraisal protocol that ensures all initiatives funded by WECA protect irreplaceable habitats (including ancient woods and veteran trees) and deliver environmental net gain.
  • Lead a cross-sector taskforce to unlock and unblock the urgent delivery of natural solutions to the interrelated crises we face in the 2020s. This includes reviewing and redressing why strong policy does not always lead to delivery.

5. Improve access to nature

  • The pandemic has highlighted the importance of nature for wellbeing. Commit to enhancing the extent and quality of access to nature and woodland. Use mayoral planning powers to call in major schemes to address areas with insufficient access to nature.
  • Work with unitary authorities, landowners and developers to achieve at least 30% tree canopy cover across all new developments in the West of England.
  • Promote the green belt as a nature-rich, accessible asset that connects people to nature. Support new community woodlands close to people.
  • Work with schools to increase educational opportunities for children to connect with nature, including the promotion of forest schools.

6. Make the West of England a national exemplar of green recovery

  • Put a green recovery at the heart of everything you do with the urgency that the climate and nature emergency demands. Redress inequalities, improve wellbeing and drive economic prosperity by working with nature.
  • Use your mayoral powers to drive innovation. Promote a call-for-sites for woodland creation and trial Nature Improvement Districts building on the Business Improvement District model.
  • Celebrate and enable sustainable, land-based livelihoods, and promote nature-based skills, training and job opportunities as part of a green recovery.
  • Influence the Western Gateway to be a national exemplar of green recovery.
  • Ensure WECA leads by example in response to the climate and nature emergency. This includes reducing the region’s global footprint. Work towards a deforestation-free WECA by reviewing procurement and investment policies.

Tees Valley

1. Help to plant more trees

  • Actively ensure proper resource to plant a tree for every resident (1.2m) in the Tees Valley over the next 20 years, with a clear plan for achieving this in partnership with local authorities and others, with a particular focus on areas of socio-economic disadvantage and low canopy cover.
  • Convene discussions with public and private landowners from across the city region to identify suitable sites for woodland creation.
  • Work with councils, landowners and developers to achieve at least 30% tree canopy cover across all areas of new development in the city region.

2. Better protection and funding for trees

  • Develop and deliver a mechanism so that a proportion of developer contributions support maintenance and protection of existing trees and woods on local and combined authority land.
  • This fund should look to - in particular - support mature street tree retention and where necessary replacement planting to avoid loss of canopy cover.

3. Better protection for ancient woodland and veteran trees

  • Be an active defender of ancient woods and veteran trees, and commit to visiting a local ancient woodland to learn more about the unique value of these irreplaceable habitats.
  • Ensure that no ancient woodland or ancient and veteran trees are adversely impacted by regional spatial strategies.
  • Work with those responsible for environmental management in local authorities and others (e.g. voluntary tree wardens) to record ancient and veteran trees in the Ancient Tree Inventory as a routine part of any arboricultural work.

4. Promote biosecurity and tackle tree disease

  • Take a lead in tackling tree disease with a city region wide long-term ambition to plant only UK and Ireland sourced and grown tree stock.
  • Work to establish one or several local municipal tree nurseries - sourcing nearby seeds and stock - with a view to ultimately achieving only UK and Ireland sourced and grown tree stock.
  • Encourage all districts to adopt an Ash Dieback Action Plan, informed by Woodland Trust best practice guidance.

5. Improve access to nature

  • The importance of access to nature for health, wellbeing and exercise was made stark during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. The mayor should build on this public goodwill and appreciation by enhancing access to nature and woodland as a policy priority.