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Lake District inns helped to become greener by Forestry grant
Two Lake District inns have received a green boost thanks to a £46,000 investment in woodland by the Forestry Commission.
The money has been made available as part of a Woodland Improvement Grant to help improve the management of Dalegarth Woods – an ancient woodland site in Eskdale.
It will help pay for improving access, controlling Rhododendron and bracken, draining, boundary maintenance as well as new planting.
Marcus Worthington, owner of Dalegarth Woods, said the grant money would help him in his project to transform it back to native woodland.
“The woods have not been managed for 60 years and we have had it for five years,” he said. “We have already put in tracks and we are taking out non-native trees.
“It is a conservation project in a big way. We want a diverse habitat in the woods by turning it back into native woodland and hopefully lots of flowers, insects and birds will thrive.
“There is also a programme to eliminate the grey squirrels and constitute the native red squirrel population.”
Mr Worthington said the Woodland Improvement Grant was also helping him employ someone to manage the woods,saying:
“The grant is wonderful. There are environmental benefits but the grants are also supporting local forestry contractors.”
Dalegarth Woods will produce woodfuel and will supply local businesses including Stanley House and The Woolpack, which are both owned by Harry Berger.
Mr Berger, who recently installed a woodfuel boiler in Stanley House and intends to install a second boiler in The Woolpack, said he was very happy to be able to source woodfuel locally.
“It is massively important to me to be able to get the wood from a local source,” he said. “There are very few log miles as the wood is only coming from a mile and a half away from me instead of travelling 90 miles. That is of huge benefit to the area.”
Mr Berger’s Stanley House wood boiler will use 150 cubic metres of wood a year and he says the boiler he has in mind for The Woolpack will use double that amount.
“The point is that we want to reduce the CO2 output of these buildings and we are reducing it by about 80 tonnes a year. I’m not an eco-warrior or an eco-terrorist but I am environmentally aware.”
Mr Berger, who also processes wood for St Bega’s Primary School in Eskdale Green, said he was happy the Forestry Commission was providing grants to help the management of woodland.
“The better managed a forest the better quality of wood that will come out of it,” he said. “And it makes us less dependant on wood from Scandinavia.”
Peter Fox, woodland officer for the Forestry Commission, said:
“This is a perfect example of our Woodfuel Strategy working in practice. An under-managed woodland being restored, by local contractors and serving a local market, while providing benefits for wildlife, the local community and visitors to the area.”
For information on the types of grant that may be available to create a new woodland or for the stewardship of existing woodlands visit www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland-grants.
Peter Fox on email@example.com or 017687 76616 or Penny Oliver on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01768 776616.
NOTES TO EDITOR
1. 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 www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland
2. 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).
3. The Forestry Commission (FC) North West England (NEW) is a regional arm of the Forestry Commission. It supports the delivery of widespread 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. For further information visit www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland-grants
National Woodfuel Policy - The UK Government is committed to combating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. In 2008, Government signed up to European targets to produce 15% of all energy produced in the UK from renewable sources and the recent Renewable Energy Strategy proposed that 30% of that renewable energy would come from bioenergy. Woodfuel is a sustainable and low carbon source of bioenergy that can make a substantial contribution to achieving these targets. For more information on national renewable energy and climate change policy visit the Department for Energy and Climate website.
Within the Forestry Commission, England, Scotland and Wales are working in partnership with many private and public sector organisations to help deliver these national bioenergy targets.