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Small is Beautiful - Help is at hand to create small woodlands in The National Forest

Friday, 10th October 2008

Anyone with land in The National Forest and who wants to create a woodland or plant just a small number of trees can contact the National Forest Company (NFC) for help and advice. And this is just the time of year to be thinking about it.

Depending on which National Forest scheme is appropriate, there is plenty of help available from designing the planting and choosing the trees, to the supply of trees and materials. 

The NFC’s middle-scale scheme covers the planting of 500-2,000 trees, sufficient to create a woodland of up to one hectare (2 1/2 acres) in size.  The scheme is ideal for creating small copses or to establish shelterbelts that link natural habitats.  After helping to design and plan the woodland in accordance with the requirements – and aspirations – of the landowner, the NFC supplies the trees and arranges to have them planted and maintained for 18 months: all free of charge.

The One Acre Woods scheme is for smaller woodlands.  There is plenty of potential to plant more of these in the Forest and this scheme is for landowners of all types – businesses, schools, local councils or community groups – who own, or are situated in, about an acre of land.  Each of these woodlands is planned, planted and maintained by the landowner or community.  In return, the NFC provides up to 420 trees with canes and guards absolutely free.  The NFC also provides a guide to planting and maintenance, and a certificate of planting. 

Matt Brocklehurst, Forest Development Manager for NFC, said:  “Planting trees is a real pleasure. In creating a small woodland you can improve the landscape, create nature conservation areas and help the environment to adapt to climate change. If you have a piece of land, however small, the NFC will try to find a way to help you create a woodland which will grow and provide benefits through many generations. We are always open to find the right scheme for each site.” 

For further information about the range of tree planting and woodland creation schemes available in The National Forest contact Matt Brocklehurst, Forest Development Manager NFC on 01283 551211. 

For those with larger areas of land, the Changing Landscapes Scheme will be back early in 2009.  Call Matt on 01283 551211 to find out more and register an interest. 

In addition, the NFC can give grants, usually up to 50%, for the planting of small groups of trees, for example on playing fields, allotment sites, in school grounds or on public spaces - contact the NFC to discuss ideas for planting. 

Even if it is just to plant one or two trees in a private garden in The National Forest, help is still available. The NFC supports the local councils in providing free trees in East Staffordshire, South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire.  Look out for details in the local press or contact the NFC on 01283 551211 for details of the scheme organisers in each council.

The National Forest Company is also able to consider land purchase.  Please contact Clive Keble, Chief Officer Land and Project Development for the NFC, on 01283 551211 to discuss, in confidence, any potential land that may be suitable.