This is an archived press release
Wednesday 16 September 2015
Thousands of new trees are to be planted in the Peak District National Park through a partnership with the Woodland Trust.
The Peak District Small Woodland Creation Scheme will run from October for the start of the 2015/16 planting season with potential for a further two years. The aim is to establish a total of at least eight hectares (equivalent to ten football pitches) of woodland each year, with each hectare containing up to 1,000 native trees.
The new areas will be planted at no cost to landowners or farmers as all trees, tree guards and associated fencing will be supplied or funded through the scheme.
Eligible locations include farm shelterbelts and woodlands providing opportunities for wildlife, recreation, landscape enhancement and small scale wood fuel provision. Funding is limited and will be awarded to appropriate proposals on a ‘first come first served’ basis. Where possible, funds from the national Countryside Stewardship Scheme will be used.
Suzanne Fletcher, countryside and economy manager at the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We are really excited by this partnership with the Woodland Trust which could mean up to 8,000 new woodland trees in each year.
“Planting trees on upland farms can provide shelter and shade for livestock, and crops, reduce soil erosion on farms by helping water infiltration rates and reduce the risk of flooding. In time, these woodlands could also provide wood fuel and timber for sale or personal use.
“There are many additional benefits for the national park, including important new habitats for upland birds and improvements to the landscape.’’
Native tree species including beech, small leaved lime, field maple, English and sessile oak can be planted, depending on location, exposure of the site and soil conditions. Alternative species include alder, bird cherry, goat willow, mountain ash, silver birch, holly, whitebeam and crab apple, as well as shrubs like hawthorn, guelder rose, hazel and dogwood.
Doug Edmondson, Woodland Trust woodland creation advisor, said: “We have many years’ experience working with landowners across the country and we’re keen to hear from anyone wishing to explore the potential benefits from planting trees.
“Every tree planted works towards increasing the level of woodland cover across the UK, which at 13% is far less than the European average, which is over 40%.”
Any landowners or farmers who are interested taking part in the project should contact Ben Lambert, countryside and economy advisor at the Peak District National Park Authority (01629 816395, 07890274652, firstname.lastname@example.org). The project can also help with advice and guidance for existing woodlands, with the potential to access grants for future management.
- The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters.
The Trust has three key aims: i) protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable, ii) restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life, iii) plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.