Surrey's new tree strategy

As part of Surrey's ambition to be a carbon neutral county by 2050, our Climate Change Strategy sets out a target to facilitate the planting of 1.2 million new trees (one for every resident) by 2030. This ambition is not something that the County Council can deliver alone. Therefore our New Tree Strategy is for the whole of Surrey, including residents, businesses, the public sector and both borough and district authorities, with the County Council taking a coordinating role.

Trees play an important role in sequestering carbon dioxide, as well as supporting adaptation to the impacts of climate change, through shading and flood prevention. They can also provide significant benefits in terms of air quality, biodiversity, health and wellbeing, education and the economy.

Our new tree strategy (PDF) sets out how we will achieve our vision that "by 2030, Surrey will benefit from 1.2 million new trees, with the right trees planted in the right place, including both urban and rural locations, and supported to grow to maturity." We will deliver the vision through the following strategic objectives:

  1. Partnership working: We will collaborate with partners to facilitate the planting of 1.2 million new trees in Surrey by 2030.
  2. Right tree, in the right place: We will adopt and advocate the "right tree, right place" principle to maximise benefits, reduce risk and build resilience for existing, and new, trees planted.
  3. Effective planting and aftercare: We will adopt and advocate best practice in terms of planting practice, aftercare and protection to ensure both planted trees and naturally regenerated woodland survive and thrive.
  4. Leading by example: As a major landowner in Surrey, we will identify areas of our own estate where trees and woodland can be planted, in order to increase overall tree coverage.
  5. Valuing our existing green infrastructure: We will develop our approach to the management and protection of trees across the county. This will include the role of planning policy in supporting, where appropriate, the safeguarding of existing trees and planting of trees in new developments.

This Strategy is part of a wider Land Use Framework, which the Council is developing with partners, and which will be completed by March 2021. The framework will inform decisions on how land and natural capital is used, managed and protected, as well as the role of planning policy and maximising biodiversity net gain from future developments.


For more information about the strategy, please contact: trees@surreycc.gov.uk


Tree planting funding opportunities for organisations and groups

Woodland and larger tree planting schemes

The Forestry Commission facilitates delivery of the Governments Grants for woodland creation. Read the overview for further details. Furthermore, they have set up a brief overview that summarizes the range of support that can be provided.

Funding opportunities include:

  • Countryside Stewardship Woodland Creation Grant - a government scheme which provides up to £6,800 per hectare to help farmers, foresters and landowners tap into the environmental and financial benefits of tree planting.
  • Woodland Carbon Fund - Capital funding for public bodies and private owners for the creation of new, productive woodland for carbon sequestration.
  • HS2 Woodland Fund - for woodland creation and restoration of plantations on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) on land within a 25-mile zone of phase one of the HS2 route from London to the West Midlands.
  • Woodland Creation Planning Grant - To help anyone thinking of planting over 10 hectares and design the new wood effectively.
  • Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme - successful participants will be offered the option to sell Woodland Carbon Units to the government over 35 years at a guaranteed price set by auction, providing new income for land managers who help businesses compensate for their carbon emissions.

The Woodland Trust offers a range of schemes including:

  • Subsidised tree packs - from 30 to 420 trees
  • Trees for your farm - plant 500+ trees to improve productivity and the environment on your farm with funding of up to 100% of the costs.
  • MOREwoods - help with woodland design and costs where 500+ trees are planted as woodland on at least half a hectare.
  • MOREhedges - The Woodland Trust can subsidise up to 75% of the cost if you plant more than 100 metres of new hedging allowing a large tree to grow every six metres.

Urban / community trees

Funding opportunities include:

Schools and Community groups within the UK can apply for grants of between £300 and £1,500 to get communities and young people up to the age of 21 involved in tree and hedge planting and care during National Tree Week – 28 November to 6 December 2020. Applications will be considered as they are received and applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application within four weeks.

In addition, free tree packs are available for schools supported by the Tree Angel Orchards Fund. Schools can register to hear when applications open. For details of both opportunities, check their grants for tree planting section.


For more information on suitable grant funding, any interested party can contact the Forestry Commission's Woodland Officer for Surrey – Cora Pfarre (cora.pfarre@forestrycommission.gov.uk) for advice.


Files available to download