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Rural and Countryside

South Downs way signpost

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 department in government. Most of what we do, for example in relation to farming, food, environmental protection, landscape management, water, flooding, and climate change adaptation, has a direct bearing on rural England, and it also has a wider role in promoting the interests of rural people, communities and businesses across government as a whole.

We also deal with statutory designations protecting our natural environment – such as Common Land, Local Nature Reserves, Areas of Outstanding Natural beauty or Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) – and with policy on National Parks.

Amongst our priorities under Defra’s Business Plan are:

  • Reviewing the governance arrangements of National Parks and publishing proposals to increase their accountability
  • Creating a new designation to protect green areas of particular importance to local communities, modelled on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)
  • Supporting economic growth in rural areas – investigating options available to help those in remote rural areas with the cost of fuel, and working to deliver universal broadband at speeds of 2mbps

Page last modified: 31 January 2011