A NEW drive to encourage farmers and landowners across Yorkshire to plant and manage more trees has been launched this week.

Woodland creation offers a profitable way for farmers and landowners to boost their business and deliver environmental benefits, alongside food production.

The Forestry Commission and Defra are drawing attention to the grant schemes which will help land managers diversify their business, with the potential to receive a grant of over £10,000 for every hectare of new woodland created.

The drive follows publication of the England Trees Action Plan last year which committed to treble tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament – to at least 7,000 hectares of trees per year in England.

Through the England Woodland Creation Offer, farmers and landowners will be paid to create new woodland on areas as small as one hectare – from small scale planting on marginal or unproductive land to large mixed woodlands.

Mark Tufnell, president of the Country Land and Business Association said: “Planting up areas of marginal land can have many benefits for livestock, water, soil and wildlife management – as well as providing long term income from timber, carbon credits and woodfuel. Funding for woodland creation is now much more attractive than before and so it is well worth considering for the least productive areas on the farm or estate.”