THE UK's top ten biggest landowners must grow more trees, an environmental campaign group has said.

Friends of the Earth has produced the first league table of England’s ten largest landowners, ranked by the area of woodland they each own.

According to the data, some of the biggest constitutional landowners in England have levels of woodland cover on their land lower than the national average, which stands at 10 per cent.

The Church Commissioners, the investment arm of the Church of England, has an estate of 105,000 acres with woodland cover of just 3 per cent, while the Duchy of Cornwall has 6 per cent woodland cover across a 130,000-acre estate. Other landowners on the list include Network Rail, Highways England, the Ministry of Defence, and the Crown Estate.

Coming out on top is the Forestry Commission, with over 400,000 acres of woodland.

The table was assembled using Land Registry Data and GIS mapping.

Friends of the Earth trees campaigner, Guy Shrubsole, commented: “Much of England is owned by a very small number of landowners, who have a responsibility to better use their land in a way that helps address the climate and nature crises facing us all. A big part of this means growing more trees, which would remove planet-wrecking carbon from the air and provide homes for wildlife.

“The Government shouted from the rooftops about the launch of the England Tree Strategy but didn’t even set a tree target for the country. This lack of ambition shows a complete disregard for the climate crisis. Ministers must turn this around, by committing to a target to double UK tree cover and providing better incentives for landowners to grow more trees and rewild their estates.”

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