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A team of Brownies from Cleator Moor have teamed up with the Forestry Commission to mark their centenary and help make the area greener at the same time.
Members of the 3rd Cleator Moor Brownie pack are working with Peter Fox, Woodland Officer for the Forestry Commission in West Cumbria, to help plant a new native woodland at Demesne Farm, near Seaton; and get some useful tips on how to maintain it.
The youngsters have planted the first 100 trees at Demesne Farm to coincide with the Brownies centenary year and learnt about the benefits that trees can provide. The trees came from a local nursery at Lamplugh.
This work will help provide valuable habitat for butterflies, birds and other woodland wildlife, as well as providing opportunities to develop coppicing operations on the site in the future.
Demesne Farm and other landowners in Cumbria are benefiting from incentives to plant new native woodland and help make the region greener, thanks to the Forestry Commission’s English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS). EWGS supports landowners providing public benefits including improving public access and biodiversity.
Changes to grant rules now allow farmers to continue to receive single farm payments as well as claiming EWGS and Farm Woodland Payments for planting new woodlands on agricultural land.
Peter Fox, Woodland Officer for the Forestry Commission in West Cumbria, said:
“The brownies got a well-deserved sense of achievement from all their hard work planting the new woodland at Demesne Farm. Their practical conservation work will ensure that woodland wildlife will be able to enjoy the site for years to come.
“Their valuable contribution also highlights how farmers and other landowners in Cumbria can take advantage of the Forestry Commission’s EWGS to plant new native woodland and help improve biodiversity in the county.”
The Forestry Commission also helps with guidance on the management of woodland and forestry practice.
Jack and Paulyne Park, owners of Demesne Farm, was awarded a £5,698 grant from the Forestry Commission’s EWGS, including Farm Woodland Payments, to help plant 2500 trees on 1.54 hectares of his land. Jack Park says:
“We were particularly impressed with how enthusiastic the young brownies were about the tree planting day and how many trees they managed to plant in such a short space of time.
“We’re grateful to the brownies and the Forestry Commission for helping to crate the new woodland at Demesne Farm and look forward to seeing the site develop as a great habitat for red squirrels, roe deer and other local wildlife.”
The Woodland Trust and the Catchment Sensitive Farming project from Natural England also provided advice and expertise as part of the Demesne Farm woodland creation project.
Woodland Creation Grants also offer the potential to create new accessible woodlands to help improve health and education in the places most in need, as well as helping to generally improve the quality of people’s lives.
Priority areas for the Forestry Commission’s EWGS include maintenance and enhancement of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and ancient woodland expansion.
The Forestry Commission also look for applications to plant new native woodland near existing ancient woodland and the stewardship of existing woodland that benefits the environment or provides new places for people to enjoy healthy exercise.
Woodland Creation Grants can also have an important part to play in solving soil erosion and sedimentation problems in sensitive water catchment areas such as the Lake District’s Bassenthwaite Lake, another EWGS target area.
In the last ten years, grants worth more than £10 million have been given out by the Forestry Commission, leading to the creation of over 5,000 hectares of new woodlands in North West England.
With woodland cover ranging from as little as four per cent to nine per cent across the region, the North West is one of the least wooded areas in England and the proportion of ancient woodland is even less.
The Forestry Commission operates the EWGS under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). EWGS is part of the Defra family of environmental support.
Anyone interested in making an application should contact the Forestry Commission on 017687 76616 or email email@example.com. Further information can also be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland-grants or www.forestry.gov.uk/ewgs
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Images of the brownies planting trees at Demesne Farm near Workington are attached. High resolution versions can be obtained by calling 01524-782086.
2. Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For further information visit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland
3. Forestry Commission England runs the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) to support and promote the national and regional delivery of forestry policy, as set out in the Government's Rural Strategy. EWGS is part of the Defra family of environmental support. Further information about these schemes can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/erdp/schemes/es/default.htm. EWGS is a part of the Rural Development Plan for England (RDPE).
4. The Forestry Commission (FC) North West England (NEW) is a regional arm of the Forestry Commission. It supports the delivery of wide-spread public benefits across the region, using woodland management and creation as the basis for change. The FC NWE region has a diverse remit; as a grant giving body to the woodland sector; the region's forestry regulatory body; helping the region to address climate change by developing wood fuel supply; supporting and developing the region's forest and woodland industries; actively promoting and protecting the Northwest's natural heritage (especially ancient trees and woodlands) and enabling communities across the region to live healthier lives.
Peter Fox (Woodland Officer) on 017687-76616 or 07768-142942.