The National Forest to receive extra funding to boost Forest Creation
4th Aug 2022
We’re delighted to announce that the National Forest will receive an additional £2.4m to boost forest creation over the coming year. The extra funding will enable more trees to be planted, the creation of more green and wooded spaces for people to enjoy, and new wildlife habitats.
The funding announcement comes as part of year three of the Nature for Climate Fund, a package for all woodland creation delivery partners throughout the country to help meet the government’s tree planting targets.
Last year we successfully achieved the milestone of more than 200 hectares of new forest habitat created, through a combination of land acquisition, grants to farmers and landowners, and use of the planning system. This resulted in over 200,000 trees being planted throughout the 200 square miles of the Forest, covering parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire.
Our biggest area of planting was at our 150-hectare Minorca Woods site in Measham, a former open cast mining site. This year thanks to our dedicated forestry team, 77,000 trees have been planted at the site, including a variety of species, such as silver birch, rowan, hazel, wild cherry and many more, which as they grow will connect with established existing woodland nearby to create larger and more connected areas where wildlife can thrive.
The site has also been supported by our 75-year partnership with FatFace, with the team visiting the site and helping to plant some of over 53,000 trees, forming part of a business model that supports both carbon reduction and storage. A carefully considered mix of different tree species has been used, consisting of both broadleaved trees and conifers. Some of these were chosen for their ability to take up carbon quickly, others chosen specifically for the benefits they provide for wildlife.
This year we have also planted 50,000 trees across the 200 square miles of the National Forest through our grant schemes, which we offer to landowners to support forest creation across many hectares to less than a single hectare, this enables tree planting at scale, benefits for local access and wildlife habitats, such as this year’s mixed woodland planting by Leicestershire County Council at the restored Ravenstone quarry, specifically designed to support the local barn owl population.
We have also continued to work with local schools offering children the chance to contribute to the Forest through tree planting, with a selection of Leicester City schools taking part though the Forest Foxes project, a partnership of the National Forest, Leicester City Football Club and the Forest School Association, to offer outdoor learning experiences to inner city schoolchildren. This year the children have helped plant over 1,000 field maple, silver birch, alder and oak trees.
Over the last 30 years the National Forest has planted over 9 million trees and increased forest cover from 6% to 22%. The ultimate aim is to reach one third forest cover throughout the Forest’s 200 square miles, and we’re hoping to achieve this through working with businesses, landowners within the Forest and local communities, as well as individuals who dedicate a tree in the Forest to remember a loved one or celebrate one of life’s special moments.
Landowners based outside the National Forest can find details of national schemes to support tree planting on the Gov.uk website.
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