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The Forestry Commission is urging people to think green and help Lincolnshire turn over a new leaf.
Grants are being offered to support high-quality planting schemes which fulfil key priorities, including broadening wildlife habitats, creating places for people to enjoy healthy exercise and providing much needed timber.
New figures show that 970 hectares (2,425 acres) of new trees have taken root in the county over the past decade using Forestry Commission grants worth £5.9m.
That has brought an immense range of benefits. But more needs to be done, say forest chiefs.
Woodland cover in Lincolnshire is just 3.3%, one of the lowest in England and well below the national average of 9%.
Meanwhile, timber prices are soaring, bolstered by unprecedented demand for woodfuel, including firewood, which has risen 20% in price. Without new planting the region could miss out on this vibrant renewable energy sector as well as the other benefits of tree planting.
Dave Bole from the Forestry Commission said:
"Over £1 million is available in Lincolnshire to support schemes, but the bottleneck is getting enough land coming forward and planted. Few dispute the region needs more woodlands - they are good for wildlife, absorb carbon dioxide and offer owners an increasingly attractive economic return. More trees equals a more sustainable future. The time to act is now."
Higher grants are also available for areas deemed hotspots for endangered woodland birds like Tree Pipit and Spotted Flycatcher. These designated zones include the Lincolnshire Wolds and Bardney Limewoods and payments to create new woods can be increased by an additional £2,000 per hectare. Supplements are also available to compensate farmers for planting trees and this coupled with other payments mean grants could total up to £8,300 per hectare.
For further details contact the Forestry Commission on 01623 821474 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information can also be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/eastmidlands or www.forestry.gov.uk/ewgs
Notes to Editor
- 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/eastmidlands
- Forestry Commission England runs the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) to support and promote the national and regional delivery of forestry policy developing the co-ordinated delivery of public benefits form England's woodlands. EWGS is a part of the Defra funded Rural Development Plan for England (RDPE). Further information about these schemes can be found at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/rdpe/index.htm
- Media contact: Richard Darn (Press Officer) on 0775 367 0038