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Landowners considering planting trees will be able to seek out help from the experts at the Smallholder and Garden Festival to be held at the Royal Welsh showground in Builth Wells on May 21 and 22.
Forestry Commission Wales staff will be on hand at the South Glamorgan Exhibition Hall to give advice on the new Glastir Woodland Creation scheme, which offers an attractive grant rate to landowners who want to plant new areas of woodland.
The new scheme, which was developed by FC Wales, aims to help the Welsh Assembly Government meet its commitment to increase the amount of tree cover in Wales, as well as the range of tree species.
Woodland officers will explain the benefits of planting trees for farmers and smallholders, which include providing timber and fuel, creating shelter for crops, stock or buildings and preventing run-off and reduce soil erosion.
As well as helping to tackle climate change by locking up carbon dioxide, woodland can also enhance the value of farms by offering an opportunity to generate income from shooting.
The increased level of grant on offer reflects the Assembly Government’s strategy, Woodlands for Wales, which emphasises the need to plant more woodlands.
Under the new scheme, which was launched at the end of October, farmers could get up to £9,000 per hectare to plant new woodland. Landowners do not need to have applied for the Glastir All-Wales element and it will not have any effect on any future application to Glastir.
It includes an establishment grant over three years, a fencing grant and a payment for 15 years which compensates the landowner for the loss of agricultural income.
Woodland Officer Nick Fackrell said, “Since the launch of the new Glastir Woodland Creation grant we have had a lot of interest from farmers and smallholders, so we are expecting to be extra busy on our stand this year.
“The festival will be a great chance for anyone interested in self-sufficiency to meet us face to face and get valuable information and advice on planting trees.”
FC Wales will also be offering advice on seeking permission for felling trees.
For more details on the Glastir grant scheme, please ring 0300 068 0300 or email email@example.com and ask for a Glastir information pack or visit www.forestry.gov.uk/glastirwoodland.
Background information on the show can be found at www.rwas.co.uk/en/garden-festival/the-smallholder-garden-festival.