AN innovative project to help in the fight against rapid climate change has been launched by new train ticket search and booking service Trainhugger in association with the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) and the Royal Scottish Forestry Society (RSFS).

The scheme will provide woodland grants and focuses on planting or improving woodland under the care of RFS and RSFS members.

At least 80,000 trees will be planted in an initial pilot of the Trainhugger Grants for Resilient Woodlands and Treescapes, with hundreds of thousands more planned in an ongoing multi-year partnership.

To apply for the grants, woodland owners must be RFS or RSFS members and must be able to demonstrate that the species they are choosing, or the planting methods they are employing, will maximise the woodland’s survival for the future. Restock and small woodland schemes, which do not currently always qualify for traditional government grants, will be considered alongside new woodland creation.

RFS development manager Jen Turner said: “We are all looking to a time when it is safe to travel again, but the lockdowns have made many of us more aware than ever of opportunities to cut our climate impact and improve local air quality. Trainhugger delivers so many benefits in these areas.

“Ticket prices are the same price as competitors, yet every booking made through Trainhugger means a tree will be planted through the RFS and RSFS and managed expertly for the future, helping meet government climate change aims. Train travel also produces significantly less CO2 than traditional car travel so this is a win-win for conscientious travellers, the environment and for those planting resilient woodland.”

READ MORE: Fourth Woodland Carbon Guarantee auction dates announced

RSFS president Simon MacGillivray said: “One of the positives from this past year has been a growing awareness of the benefits of our forests and green spaces. We’ve seen a huge desire from people to plant more trees. Through this partnership with our members and those of RFS, this initiative by Trainhugger allows everyone who travels by train a chance to be part of creating a new generation of woodlands.”

Nellie de Goguel, Trainhugger’s director of sustainability, said: “We’re excited to harness the power of sustainable public transport to plant a network of healthy, resilient woodlands across the UK. Almost two billion train trips were taken in 2019. If less than one per cent of those trips were purchased through Trainhugger, we could plant millions of trees in one year.”

“It’s actually a really simple idea, but we believe it can make a huge difference,” added Trainhugger CEO and founder Ed Caldecott.

“We want to make sure that every Trainhugger tree that goes into the soil is climate resilient and planted in the best place possible, and that’s why we have teamed up with the experts at the Royal Forestry Society and the Royal Scottish Forestry Society.”

Forestry Journal remains dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and views from across our industry, plus up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19.

Please support us by subscribing to our print edition, delivered direct to your door, from as little at £75 for 1 year – or consider a digital subscription from just £1 for 3 months.

To arrange, follow this link:

Thanks – and stay safe.