A number of projects that protect landscapes, connect people with nature and create and retain green jobs across England have been awarded a share of almost £40 million as part of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, the UK Government has announced.

The 68 projects will see 800,000 trees planted, the government said, and will also support conservation work and help to improve education about the environment.

This first round of funding from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund will award nearly £40 million. The second funding round will open for applications early next year.

The fund will be delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

The winning projects include:

  • The Woodland Trust, which is being awarded £3,860,200 to restore ancient woodlands and trees in 63 landscapes across England.
  • A partnership led by the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) in England and Wales, which will receive £2,543,600 to connect young people to nature and build a new workforce for the green recovery.
  • The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, which has been awarded £580,400 to improve access to green spaces at NHS sites across England, including by planting 10,000 trees at 50+ NHS sites.
  • The Conservation Education & Research Trust will receive £249,900 to help plant 12 ‘tiny forests’ (the size of a tennis court) in urban areas across England.
  • The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Owl Box Initiative is being awarded a grant of £123,700 to work with 100 farms and supply communities with Barn Owl boxes.

READ MORE: Woodland Trust and National Trust awarded £3.86m funding for ancient woodland restoration

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: "These projects will drive forward work across England to restore and transform our landscapes, boost nature and create green jobs, and will be a vital part of helping us to build back greener from coronavirus.

"I look forward to working with environmental organisations as these projects develop and help address the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change, while creating and retaining jobs as part of the green recovery."

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