My party has plans to plant 3.5m trees, “a tree for every child”
We already prevented Conservatives from privatising our nation’s forestry early in the last Parliament, now we'll make them safe for good.
My party has drawn up plans to place Britain's forests in a protected trust to stop them ever being sold off and have committed to planting more than 3.5m trees in towns, cities and villages over the next parliament if they remain in power.
The measures would be introduced through our Nature Bill that is being drawn up by the party to bring in greater protections for the environment, including enshrining in law targets on clean air and water.
Under our plans, we will set a target of more than 700,000 trees per year, or 3.5m over the course of a parliament, which is threefold the number due to be planted under the coalition's Big Tree Plant scheme that covers built-up areas.
“A new tree for every child born over the next five years”.
The bill would include targets for clean air and water, a plan to stop natural resources such as peat and wood being harvested at an unsustainable level and put British forests into a trust to stop them being privatised.
It would also increase the penalties for enforcement and punishment of environmental crime such as deliberate water pollution and wildlife crime and use the proceeds for these increased penalties to fund the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the sector of the Environment Agency that tackles pollution-related crime.
The Conservatives tried to sell off the UK's forests before the Liberal Democrats forced them to abandon the plan early in the parliament.
Politicians from all parties have a responsibility to create the conditions for a good quality of life, for better places in which to live and Liberal Democrats take this responsibility very seriously. Future generations have a right to grow up in a Britain with easy access to a diverse, green and healthy natural environment. That is why we will be including a commitment to introduce a Nature Act in our 2015 manifesto.
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.
6th April 2015