Establishing a new woodland is a hugely satisfying thing to do, with woodlands providing so many benefits for the environment and society. The UK has woodland cover at 13%, compared with the EU average of 37%.
It is important that several factors are considered at the planning stage to ensure the young trees have the best possible chance of establishing and and the woodland (which will become a permanent feature in the landscape) is appropriate and meets the objectives of the landowner.
The principal factors to consider are:
■ Species choice – conifers, broadleaves, native, non-native, or a mixture taking into account objectives and site type
■ Stocking density – generally higher densities aid establishment and future quality/form of the trees
■ Will the woodland extend existing woodland?
■ Size of planting stock, provenance, bare root or cell grown?
■ How will the trees be protected from browsing?
■ Method & timing of planting
■ Environmental impact assessments & consultation requirements
■ Creation of infrastructure
■ Design of open ground, species layout and incorporation of existing features
■ Maintenance regime
■ Long term objectives: commercial, biomass, ood control environmental, carbon sequestration, other or all?
The government have ambitious targets for woodland creation and as such generous grant support is available. These grants are a combination of capital to contribute towards the initial planting works, plus
annual payments for the first 10 years, the former being free of income tax.
An initial site visit and informal chat will help our managers advise you as to the most suitable way forward along with the all-important income (grant & long term) and expenditure.