Grants for tree planting projects

Pam Warhurst (centre, white blouse) meets members of Morecambe Bay Nature Improvement Area (NIA) during a recent visit.
Pam Warhurst (centre, white blouse) meets members of Morecambe Bay Nature Improvement Area (NIA) during a recent visit.

The Forestry Commission has pledged more cash to support the vital work of the Morecambe Bay Limestones and Wetlands Nature Improvement Area (NIA) in North West England.

The NIA is an internationally significant area for birds, butterflies and flowers.

Now landowners are being offered generous grants for tree planting projects which help meet key habitat objectives and promote the growth of a sustainable low carbon economy linked to the natural environment.

Geographical and eligibility rules apply. More information on 01524 565800.

James Anderson-Bickley from the Forestry Commission explained: “These grants are a powerful incentive to create new woodlands in the NIA.

“In particular we are keen to see more wet woodlands take root and streamside planting which will deliver a host of benefits.

“Over the years we have seen a decline in traditional woodland management in the area and that has had a negative knock on effect on butterflies and birds including lesser spotted woodpecker.

“New trees in the right areas will provide new wildlife havens and we are also working with owners and partners to put existing woods back to work, which is also vitally important.”

Trees can also be a valuable asset for landowners – woodfuel is becoming increasingly important as a renewable resource and part of planning for a greener future.

Grants up to £4,800 per hectare are available for projects which meet eligibility rules and schemes outside the NIA area may be supported if they help further its objectives.

Supporting new tree cover in NIAs is one of the national priorities highlighted in a revamped English Woodland Creation Grant Scheme.

Others include planting trees to improve water quality and alleviate the severity of flooding, linking together existing woodland habitats, providing publicly accessible woods and creating productive woods to boost the rural economy.

Geographical and eligibility rules apply.

For more information call 01524 565800.