Cash will be used to plant woodland in UK
A record donation of £4m has been gifted to the National Trust by banking giant HSBC.
The cash will be used to plant two million trees over the next four years, the charity has said.
Woodland covering around 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres), an area roughly the size of Worcester will be created as a result.
The woodland will lock in 1.25 million tonnes of carbon, the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars off the road a year, the trust said.
Most of the woodland is being created near urban areas, so people in towns and cities will be able to visit new nature-rich woods, according to the charity.
The £4 million gift is the biggest environmental donation the National Trust has ever received and is part of HSBC’s climate solutions partnership, which aims to unlock barriers to finance for companies and projects that tackle climate change to bring them to scale.
National Trust director general Hilary McGrady said: “This gift represents a major step in our attempt to try and tackle the effects of climate change and ensures we can plant the trees in the right places to really maximise the impact they will have in locking in carbon. “This donation offers so much more than just tree planting.
“By creating these woodlands, we hope to see further benefits by allowing the landscape to regenerate naturally and without the need for so much intervention by way of tree planting in the future.
“Nature has a way of healing if we can just give it a chance.”
And she said: “The recent lockdowns have taught us that access to nature is more important than ever, and by planting trees in the right places we can ensure these carbon rich habitats work for both nature and people.”