National Forest: Government funds planting of more trees

By Amy Phipps
BBC News, East Midlands

  • Published
Image caption,
The National Forest Company (NFC) said it had planted over nine million trees in the last 30 years

More than £2m of government funding is to be spent on planting trees in the National Forest.

The 200 sq mile (518 sq km) forest spans parts of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire

More than 200 hectares of new habitats were created in the forest last year, with the planting of 200,000 trees.

The National Forest Company (NFC) said the funding would enable them to continue creating green and wooded spaces and new wildlife habitats.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is spending £44.2m from its Nature for Climate Fund on expanding woodland.

The NFC - which is responsible for the National Forest - is to receive £2.4m of that money.

Significant progress has already been made in the National Forest over the last 30 years.

The NFC said it had planted over nine million trees and increased forest cover from 6% to 22%.

Last year its biggest area of planting was at Minorca Woods near Measham, Leicestershire.

More than 77,000 trees were planted at the former mining site, including silver birch, rowan, hazel and wild cherry.

Others, like broadleaved trees and conifers, were also chosen for their ability to absorb carbon quickly.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Children have helped to plant over 1,000 trees so far this year

The NFC said local school children have helped with planting trees, including 1,000 field maple, silver birch, alder and oak trees in Ratby, Leicestershire.

John Everitt, chief executive of NFC, said: "The additional funding is excellent news and will enable us to work with partners, communities and businesses to continue the transformation of this area.

"The National Forest demonstrates how trees can lead a positive response to the urgency of climate change and how woodlands near to where people live and work bring benefits to our wellbeing, support farming and industry and promote nature's recovery."

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