A plan to plant 350,000 trees in Essex has been given a £300,000 boost.

The Essex Forest Initiative is planting trees to fill an area the size of 210 football pitches before 2024.

The Forestry Commission has awarded the cash to Essex County Council, which is leading the project, to help the initiative reach its target.

The trees will be planted across north and west Essex in Colchester, Epping Forest and Harlow.

ECC's Climate Czar Councillor Peter Schwier said: “There are many other benefits to this fund for people and wildlife in Essex, from improvements in air quality to reductions in flooding."

ECC, the Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission and Evergreen Trust are funding the project.

According to Global Forest Watch, tree cover extended over 9.4 per cent of the county's land in 2010.

From 2001 to 2020, Essex lost 163 hectares of tree cover, equivalent to a 0.75 percent decrease in tree cover since 2000.