The National Forest launches pub drop-in sessions to connect with local farmers and landowners

30th Sep 2022

We’re setting up four pub drop-in sessions throughout the National Forest as informal opportunities to share information on available grants and to talk directly with farmers and landowners about how we can help with their aspirations for their land. 

Sheep in field


The National Forest has funding for tree planting to create woodland and parkland, creating and restoring hedges, creating ponds and maintaining wet grasslands, installing water troughs, creating orchards, woodland management, advice on developing sustainable tourism accommodation, and much more. 

Rob Cleaver, forest creation manager for the National Forest, said: “Creating the National Forest is only possible because of our landowners. We’re aiming for a third of the land in the Forest to be forest cover, which will deliver benefits for biodiversity, carbon storage, timber production, farm and business diversification, tourism and employment. Landowners in the Forest can help us achieve this and be part of a positive change in the face of biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. 

“We’re setting up these pub drop-in sessions so we can have an informal chat and hear people’s aspirations for their land. We can discuss with them how we can help them make that happen, and how they can get the best out of their land. 

“In addition to tree planting and many related improvements, we can support fencing, paths, signage, benches, educational visits under our nationally inspiring outdoor learning programme, and forest art installations.” 

Since 1995, the NFC has led the creation of the National Forest across 200 square miles of the Midlands, spanning parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Working in partnership with farmers, landowners, businesses and local authorities, over nine million trees have been planted, taking forest cover from 5% to 22%. At a time when we seem to hear only bad news about the crisis in biodiversity, over the last 30 years species abundance in the National Forest has increased across bird, bat, small mammals and butterfly populations, compared to national declines. In the last five years, woodland birds have decreased by 7% nationally but increased by 48% in the National Forest. Butterflies have decreased nationally in the last decade by 16% but increased in the National Forest by nearly 15%. 

It shows that it is possible to make a difference. Rob added: “With landowners we’ve created paths that provide public access to safe green spaces, for people to relax and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of connecting with nature.” Local landowners can be part of this unique story, and gain funding to help transform their land. 

Members of the National Forest team will be at the following pubs between 4pm and 8pm on the following dates: 

Tuesday 4 October: The Milking Parlour, Staunton Lane, Calke, Derbyshire LE65 1RG 

Thursday 6 October: The Bradgate, 37 Main Street, Newton Linford, LE6 0AE 

Monday 10 October: Horse Shoe Inn, Tatenhill, DE13 9SD 

Thursday 13 October: The Black Horse, 17 Burton Road, Coton in the Elms, DE12 8HJ 

Anyone with land in the National Forest and an interest in tree planting, habitat creation for wildlife, or simply to see what might be possible is very welcome to join one of these sessions, we look forward to seeing you there.