10/14/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/14/2019 05:47
A major bid to increase the amount of woodland areas within the stunning North York Moors National Park is now calling on more landholders to champion the scheme. In the last three years farmers and private estate owners within the National Park have been the driving force behind planting over 65,000 trees as part of the Woodland Creation Grant Scheme, a fully-funded programme offered by the North York Moors National Park Authority.
Other than the benefits to wildlife, the introduction of trees into the landscape can have lots of advantages, from slowing the flow of water downstream to providing shelter for livestock. It is also an ideal alternative to bracken on unproductive slopes.
Alasdair Fagan, Woodland Creation Officer said: 'The environmental gains from planting trees can be huge. One is that low density woodland can be created, which often fits into the local landscape better than dense woodland.
'The other is that 100% of the costs of the woodland creation are paid for. Also, as we administer the scheme ourselves it is easy to access and there isn't even an application form to fill in. If you are interested in planting deciduous trees on your land please just give me a ring.'
Planting trees on farmland can also boost production and enhance animal health and welfare. Schemes such as The Pontbren Project, ran by a group of Welsh farmers, have shown how shelter created from trees can help to moderate wind speeds, increase soil temperatures and extend the growing season of grass.
Other studies have found how tree shelter can reduce the amount of newborn lambs being lost by providing ewes with greater isolation during lambing. This increases the chances of the ewe and her lambs developing a strong bond, resulting in better feeding and reducing the risk of disease.
There are more far-reaching benefits from woodlands that benefit everyone. For example, at a time of such ecological uncertainty the need to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide entering our atmosphere is vital. Trees are able to do this through the process of photosynthesis.
Alasdair added: '23% of the National Park is currently covered by woodland and forest, however only 2% is Ancient Semi Natural Woodland, which is the highest quality for biodiversity. We therefore want to work alongside landowners to create a lasting legacy of sustainable, native woodland within our much-loved National Park.'
In order to benefit from the Woodland Creation Grant Scheme the plot needs to be over 1 hectare (2.4 acres), but can be made up of multiple pieces of land. The trees must also be mixed deciduous species and result in over 20% mature woodland canopy.
Funding is available for 100% of the costs in the first year, which includes all the costs of the trees, labour, materials and fencing. It also covers five years maintenance. If you would like to learn more about the grant please visit the Woodland Creation webpage. Alternatively, you can contact Alasdair via email at: [email protected] or by phone on: 01439 772700.
About the North York Moors National Park
The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, ancient woodland and historic sites. Created on 28 November 1952 it became Britain's sixth national park. Covering an area of 554 square miles (1,436 square kilometres), the National Park has 26 miles of coastline, two national nature reserves, 840 Scheduled Monuments and over 3,000 listed buildings, attracting an estimated 7.9 million visitors a year.
The National Park has two visitor centres, The Moors National Park Centre, Danby and Sutton Bank National Park Centre, providing opportunities for cycling, walking, eating, picnicking, shopping, crafts and wildlife-watching. The centre in Danby also houses the Inspired by… gallery, which features regularly changing exhibitions by artists who draw their inspiration from the North York Moors.
The North York Moors National Park Authority works with a wide variety of people to care for this beautiful corner of Yorkshire, providing apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities with nearly 14% of staff being apprentices from local families. To view other press releases and for further information about the North York Moors National Park, please visit the North York Moors National Park homepage.