What benefits is the Northern Forest bringing?

The Northern Forest is delivering incredible benefits to local people and wildlife across the North of England. It’s helping the region mitigate the impacts of climate change, address the biodiversity crisis and build stronger, more equitable and healthier communities.

Illustration of trees and text saying 'Over six million trees planted'

Increasing tree cover

Since 2018, over six million trees have been planted by the Northern Forest partners, with 2.5 million of those trees planted through new woodland creation. That’s the equivalent of over 4,000 football pitches of land now planted, with the right tree in the right place for the right reasons.

Giving millions of people better access to nature

Planting through the Northern Forest means nearly 302,000 more households are now within 500m of a publicly accessible woodland, and nearly one third of these are within the top 10% of most deprived areas in England.

Taking trees into the heart of built-up areas is crucial. They clean the air that millions of people breathe, which can reduce the risk of serious health conditions related to air pollution. Trees also cool the temperature and quieten the noise of city life, making urban areas healthier, more enjoyable places to live. Giving everyone easy, free access to nature on their doorstep means they’re more likely to have better physical and mental health.

Illustration of houses and text saying '302,000 extra households are now less than 10 minutes' walk from publicly accessible woodland'
Illustration of a tree and text saying '19,000 tonnes of carbon sequestered each year'

Contribution to net zero

Trees lock up carbon in their biomass and soil, and play a vital role in supporting the UK’s aim of reaching net zero by 2050. The 2.5 million trees planted as woodland by the Northern Forest partners since 2018 will sequester over 19,000 tonnes of additional carbon every year over their lifetime. That sequestration is valued at more than £1.4 million (based on the non-traded price of carbon).

Enhancing wildlife

Planting through the Northern Forest partnership has created an additional 3,500 hectares of better-connected habitats for wildlife, contributing to a total of 570,000 hectares of woodland network that now exists across the Northern Forest. Planting between existing but unconnected woodland sites acts as a stepping stone for species. Wildlife can then move through previously unsuitable environments, helping it to thrive.

Illustration of a squirrel and text saying '3,500 hectares of habitat created for local wildlife'
Illustration of a graph and text saying '£43 million economic uplift from natural benefits'

Boosting the regional economy

Since 2018, the Northern Forest partners have delivered a five-fold return on investment and delivered an annual economic uplift of £43 million across the region. This is powerful evidence that investing in the Northern Forest delivers as strongly for our economy as it does for our environment, our communities, the climate and for wildlife.

The Northern Forest impact report

Want to know more about the transformational change delivered by the Northern Forest? Read our 2018–2023 impact report.

Could you help make the Northern Forest go even further?

The Northern Forest Partnership is seeking landowners who are looking for funding to plant trees on their land. If you'd like to get involved, find out more about how to get funding for trees on your land.