Farmers asked to help plant more than 50 million trees

The project will contribute 85% of the costs to farmers wanting to plant more than half a hectare (Photo: Matthew Houseman/WTML)
The project will contribute 85% of the costs to farmers wanting to plant more than half a hectare (Photo: Matthew Houseman/WTML)

A new initiative which aims to plant more than 50 million trees from Liverpool to Hull will commence, and farmers are asked to be a part of it.

Landowners are being offered the chance to be part of the vast new Northern Forest with heavily subsidised tree-planting incentives.

Over the next 25 years the Woodland Trust and Community Forest Trust are aiming to plant millions of trees, connecting the forests of the north.

As part of the woodland creation project the Woodland Trust will contribute up to 85 percent of the costs to anyone wanting to plant more than half a hectare of woodland on their land.



Emma Briggs, who heads up the Trust’s MOREwoods project, said farmers and landowners are 'integral' to the vision.

“There are so many reasons to plant trees. They improve soil quality and stability, slow the flow of flooding, provide shelter for crops and livestock, attract pollinators, and can provide an additional cash crop, a source of fuel and a home for wildlife.



“And with our best ever subsidy there’s no better time to think about planting for a stronger more viable future,” she said.

Cumbria farming couple Matthew and Helen Houseman have signed up and in February planted 600 trees and shrubs on half a hectare of land at their home in Killington.

They were recommended a special mix of trees designed for the Cumbrian landscape including field maple, silver birch, sweet chestnut, crab apple, hazel, Scots pine, wild cherry, common oak, rowan and small-leaved lime.

Mr Houseman said his parents were farmers and used to plant lots of trees, so it's good to be able to do the same.

“The trees have only been in a few months but we are already getting pleasure from watching them spring into life and seeing what comes into bud first.

“Our neighbours around us have seen what we’re doing and asking lots of questions. There seems to be interest,” he said.

Applications are currently being taken for planting in the November 2019-March 2020 season. Applicants must be willing to plant currently non-wooded land at a density of between 1,000 and 1,600 trees per hectare.