Since January 2020, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has been encouraging residents and businesses to register the trees they have planted on the Virtual Forest (www.wmvirtualforest.co.uk), which covers the West Midlands, Warwickshire and Shropshire. The number of new trees registered is now approaching 600,000 – that’s one for every school age child living in the region.
To ensure that number keeps growing, the WMCA is engaging with landowners, companies and community groups across the region to promote the benefits of trees and tree planting and to connect people with the available funding options which are most suitable for them.
WMCA is looking for people interested in planting on their land, and those with land where a tree nursery could be established to supply the region with saplings. The WMCA’s recent tree nursery study has identified the need for locally grown trees and we are looking to set up a network of community nurseries who can grow some of the diverse species mix we are looking to plant across the WMCA in the future. If you have an area of land within your council which might be suitable, or a community group interested in running a nursery, please get in touch at the email below. We are working to the Right Tree, Right Place approach to ensure that planting is sustainable, protects nature and survive for future generations. As part of this work the Virtual Forest website has resources and guidance on funding, planting and management of your trees whether you are considering large areas of woodland, agroforestry, or new boundary lines. In March 2024 we will be holding a landowner summit to discuss tree planting across the region and promote the funding options available.
Please contact WMVirtualForest@wmca.org.uk for more details.