Belfast Telegraph

Tories vow to plant trees and protect life in ocean

Boris Johnson eats a stick of rock with “Back Boris” written through it during a visit to Blackpool rock producer ‘Coronation Candy’ yesterday
Boris Johnson eats a stick of rock with “Back Boris” written through it during a visit to Blackpool rock producer ‘Coronation Candy’ yesterday

By Catherine Wylie

Tree-planting rates would triple and a fund would be set up to protect the world's oceans if the Tories win the general election, the party has promised.

A £640m Nature for Climate fund would increase tree planting in England, with the Government aiming to work with the devolved administrations to boost tree-planting rates to 30,000 hectares every year, which the party said could mean 30m more trees.

But Labour said the Conservatives have failed to meet previous tree-planting targets and said it was an attempt by Boris Johnson to "greenwash his atrocious environmental record".

Under the plans, new forests would spring up and existing woodland like the Northern Forest and Northumberland Forest would be expanded, while more trees would also be planted in towns and cities.

The fund would also be used to restore degraded peatland across the country, the party said.

A Conservative Government would also launch a £500m Blue Planet fund, resourced from the International Aid budget, to export UK expertise in marine science around the world, supporting developing countries to protect marine habitats.

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