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Get involved in The Big Tree Plant

The Big Tree Plant LogoThe Big Tree Plant aims to encourage people and communities to plant more trees in urban and residential areas. The five year campaign will encourage local community groups to plant and care for trees in their neighbourhood, particularly in areas that don’t have many. The Big Tree Plant partnership brings together civil society partners and conservation organisations, working with Defra and the Forestry Commission. For more information on how to get involved visit The Big Tree Plant website

Defra is the rural hub in government. It is the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, but a great deal of its work is “rural” in one way or another.

Some 86% of the land area in England is classified as rural, and most of that is either farmland, forest, managed landscape or natural open spaces, all of which fall within Defra’s remit, in the form of Farming and Food, Flooding and the Natural Environment.

It is also responsible for forestry, access to the countryside and for overseeing our National Parks, and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Many of the responsibilities Defra holds are also often more closely associated with our urban places, such as climate change adaptation and waste, but have strong rural dimensions.

In addition, Defra promotes the needs and interests of the 20% of the English population (9 million people) who live and work in rural areas. This is known as rural mainstreaming and involves Defra and its sponsored body, the Commission for Rural Communities, working closely with other parts of national, regional and local government to ensure rural interests are addressed in everyday policies.

Defra also oversees the delivery of the Rural Development Programme for England, a £3.9 billion programme jointly funded by the EU through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the government, over the 7-year programme period (2007-2013). The Programme aims to safeguard and enhance the rural environment, improve competitiveness in the agriculture and forestry sector, foster competitive and sustainable rural businesses, and thriving rural communities.

Page last modified: 31 December 2010