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Local schoolchildren to help plant more trees in the National Forest

Tuesday, 22nd August 2017

young tree in tube

Thousands more trees will be planted in the National Forest this coming winter, thanks to landowners applying to the National Forest Company’s Changing Landscapes’ Scheme. 

Two new schemes have been approved by the charity’s trustees, to create 6.07 hectares (14.9 acres) of woodland and 3.91 hectares (9.6 acres) of other habitats, including parkland featuring individual trees, an orchard and pond, and extensive hedgerow planting. More than 11,000 trees will be planted in total.

A living willow art sculpture will feature in the scheme at Park Farm on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border. A public footpath runs through the site and local people will be able to take advantage of new benches provided to pause and enjoy the new woodland.Local schools and groups will take part in activities on the site including tree planting, foraging and craft courses as part of the National Forest campaign to increase outdoor learning in primary schools. Holly trees are among the native species to be planted in the new woodland, to be used in wreath making, and willow will be planted for use in craft activities.

Bess Bagley, at Charnwood in the Leicestershire part of the Forest, is the larger of the two schemes, and will provide significant connecting habitats for wildlife between local Ulverscroft Nature Reserve and other woodlands in the area. Local schoolchildren will be invited to take part in tree and bluebell planting events.  This scheme demonstrates the need for habitat restoration and community engagement in Charnwood, which forms part of a much larger Landscape Partnership bid to Heritage Lottery Fund being led by the National Forest Company (NFC).   

Charles Robinson, Head of Forestry for the NFC, said: “We may have celebrated 25 years of the National Forest last year, and the over eight and a half million trees we have planted in that time, but the work of creating the Forest continues. These two schemes will be great assets to the Forest, increasing wildlife habitats, offering opportunities for local people to get involved and bringing many thousands of new trees to the Forest.”

He continued: “Last year, 15% of all the trees planted in the country were planted within the 200 square miles of the National Forest. At a time when people are increasingly conscious of the many benefits trees bring to society and to the environment – they take up carbon, clean the air, provide shade, provide food and shelter for wildlife, and, as timber, provide a valuable construction commodity – it is vital that tree planting schemes are well supported. At the National Forest we offer different level schemes that enable people with land of all shapes and sizes to plant trees that will benefit the landscape, businesses and communities.”

For more information on tree planting in the National Forest, contact Charles Robinson on 01283 551211 or email cerobinson@nationalforest.org