More woods are needed in Notts

The Forestry Commission is urging people to think green and help Nottinghamshire turn over a new leaf.

Grants are being offered to support high-quality planting schemes which fulfil key priorities, including broadening wildlife habitats, creating places for people to enjoy healthy exercise and providing much needed timber.

New figures show that 400 hectares (1,000 acres) of new trees have taken root in the county over the past decade using Forestry Commission grants worth £2.1m.

That has brought an immense range of benefits. But more needs to be done, say forest chiefs.

Woodland cover in Nottinghamshire is 8%, compared with a national average of 9%. Meanwhile, timber prices are soaring, bolstered by unprecedented demand for woodfuel, including firewood, which has risen 20% in price. Without new planting the region could miss out on this vibrant renewable energy sector as well as the other benefits of tree planting.

Dave Bole from the Forestry Commission said: “Over £1 million is available in the East Midlands to support schemes, but the bottleneck is getting enough land coming forward and planted. Few dispute that Nottinghamshire needs more woods – they are good for wildlife, absorb carbon dioxide and offer owners an increasingly attractive economic return. More trees equals a more sustainable future. The time to act is now.”

Higher grants are also available for areas deemed hotspots for endangered woodland birds like Woodlark and Spotted Flycatcher. This includes all of the county and payments to create new woods can be increased by an additional £2,000 per hectare.

Supplements are also available to compensate farmers for planting trees, this coupled with other payments mean grants could total up to £8,300 per hectare.

For further details contact the Forestry Commission on 01623 821474 or email eastmids.fce@forestry.gsi.gov.uk. Further information can also be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/eastmidlands or www.forestry.gov.uk/ewgs