More than 50,000 trees are to be planted in urban areas of England as 13 projects have been given the go ahead.

The government’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund will see each scheme receive a share from a £10m pot.

Recipients include projects in Cornwall, London, Manchester and the north-east of England.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said the trees would help fight climate change and connect urban-dwellers with nature.

The announcement comes days after Ms Villiers was tackled by critics who said many more news trees were needed than those proposed .