The National Park Authority currently administers a Woodland Creation Grant Scheme. The scheme has been designed with an aim to enable landowners from across the National Park to create areas of environmentally positive mixed deciduous woodland of over 1 hectare in size.
To be eligible for the grant a woodland project must:
- Be over 1ha (2.4 acres) in size, this could be comprised of more than one compartment
- Be comprised of mixed deciduous tree species
- Result in over 20% mature woodland canopy. Planting density can be variable and we are able to plant at parkland/wood pasture densities.
Funding is available for up to 100% of actual costs for capital works in the first year and a five year follow up maintenance schedule.
The National Park’s Woodland Creation Officer can provide landowners with support in developing their proposal, appropriate woodland design, species choice, works and management programme. Find out more about our woodland work and tree planting projects we've already supported.
Benefits of woodland creation
There is evidence to suggest that the National Park Area was almost entirely wooded before it was cleared by human activity in the Middle Ages. Today, while woodland and forest covers about 23% of the National Park, just 2% is Ancient Semi Natural Woodlands, which has resulted in the reduction and/or loss of some key woodland species in the National Park, including the hazel dormouse and pied flycatcher.
Assuming the most appropriate tree species are planted in the right place, in the long term new native woodland creation contributes to restoring these habitats by extending existing woodlands, connecting woodland fragments and creating entirely new woodland habitats.
Some of the benefits of woodland creation include:
- Carbon Capture - the increase in the release of greenhouse gases into the earth’s atmosphere, particularly carbon dioxide is contributing to climate change. Trees produce their own food by using sunlight and take in carbon dioxide (photosynthesis), a process, which then produces oxygen. So trees actually take in and capture carbon dioxide and produce oxygen – essential.
- Habitat - woodlands are one of the most diverse habitats in England, with many birds, mammals, insects and plants specialising in woodland environments meaning that they are critical for biodiversity. Creating even small areas of woodland has the potential to greatly increase the number of species in almost any landscape.
- Shelter - trees and woodland copses planted in the right place on a holding can provide essential shelter for livestock and game birds. It has been shown in many cases that the shelter provided by trees has resulted in a significant reduction in cold, wet and windy weather lamb losses.
What do we check?
We look at each project/proposal very carefully and make a lot of considerations before any planting takes place. These can include:
- Existing ecology
- Current land use
- Landscaping – visual
- Woodland networks - landscape
- Parish Council consultation
- Consultation of neighbouring landowners
- Public access and Rights of Way
- Potential impacts on adjacent SSSI, SAC, SPA or other designations
- Tree species choice and suitability regarding climate change predictions
- All projects over two hectares in size are submitted to the Forestry Commission for an Environmental Impact Assessment Enquiry for Afforestation
If you are interested in woodland creation and tree planting and have a project/proposal in mind then please contact our Woodland Creation Officer, Alasdair Fagan via email or phone 01439 77270