Farmers and landowners offered once in a life time opportunity to be part of the Northern Forest

Posted On: 
29th May 2019

Farmers and landowners are being offered the chance to be part of the vast new Northern Forest with heavily subsidized tree-planting incentives.

Over the next 25 years the Woodland Trust and Community Forest Trust are aiming to plant more than 50 million trees from Liverpool to Hull, connecting the community forests of the north. Some 600,000 have been planted in the first year.

As part of the ambitious woodland creation project the Woodland Trust, thanks to funding from Defra, will contribute up to 85 per cent of the costs to anyone wanting to plant more than half a hectare of woodland on their land through its MOREwoods scheme.

Emma Briggs, who heads up the Trust’s MOREwoods project, said:

“The area covered by the Northern Forest has below average woodland cover - just 7.6 per cent compared to the UK average of 13 per cent - but we have above average ambition and farmers, smallholders and landowners are an integral part of our vision.

“There are so many reasons to plant trees. They improve soil quality and stability, slow the flow of flooding, provide shelter for crops and livestock, attract pollinators, and can provide an additional cash crop, a source of fuel and a home for wildlife. And with our best ever subsidy there’s no better time to think about planting for a stronger more viable future.”

The Trust is currently taking applications for planting in the November 2019-March 2020 planting season. Applicants must be willing to plant currently non-wooded land at a density of between 1,000 and 1,600 trees per hectare. The Trust will provide a wide range of native trees and shrubs, all sourced and grown in the UK to reduce the risk of disease, visit the site to advise on what to plant where and, if eligible, arrange a contractor to plant.

Further information can be found at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/morewoods, by contacting the Trust’s woodland creation team on 0330 333 5303 or filling in an online enquiry form at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/enquiry

The Northern Forest will connect the Community Forests in the north of England – the Mersey Forest, Manchester City of Trees, White Rose Forest and the HEYwoods Project – with green infrastructure and woodland created in and around major urban centres such as Chester, Liverpool, Leeds, and Manchester.
With trees planted in the right place, the Northern Forest will: 

  • reduce the risk of flooding for up to 190,000 people
  • create thousands of new jobs
  • help tackle climate change by storing thousands of tonnes of carbon
  • cool and clean the air in towns and cities, helping to reduce the pollutants that cause childhood asthma and respiratory disease
  • improve water quality
  • make communities and individuals happier and healthier
  • deliver economic benefits through the production of wood fuel and timber and wider economic benefits 
  • provide opportunities for recreation, tourism and leisure
  • create attractive places in which to live, work and invest