Forest for the Nation competition

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is launching a competition to create a new Forest for the Nation in England.


The competition is inspired by the achievements of the National Forest, which has transformed the landscape across 200 square miles of the Midlands since the 1990s. According to Defra, they are looking for a diverse range of proposals to plant new woodland, and one overall winner will get up to £10m to fund their project

The Forest for the Nation is to:

  • deliver transformational landscape-scale change
  • contribute to government tree planting and net zero targets
  • enhance public access to the countryside
  • empower communities to take ownership of their local woodland

The winning bid will be selected and announced in autumn 2024. Defra and the National Forest Company will work with the winner to agree a delivery plan and funding support for the new Forest for the Nation.

The competition will open for applications at the end of January 2024, but you can register your interest now by emailing