The programme aims to increase forest cover - at present only 7% of the country, the second lowest in Europe. Only Ireland has a smaller percentage. Ministers hope the strategy will lead to more than 400,000 acres of new urban woods and forests on derelict land in areas including Merseyside, the midlands, the north west, north east and some parts of south east England within the M25.
Mr Morley said the new woods and forests would help regenerate many cities and towns. 'This is a new concept of forestry and will improve the quality of life for many citizens', he said. Most new woodland would be around 50 acres.