Helen Chesshire from The Woodland Trust tells us about the England Tree Strategy and schemes the Woodland Trust they have to support farmers.
By the time you read your NFFN newsletter we hope the England Tree Strategy (ETS) will have been published for consultation. This is important and relevant to you as farmers. The Government has made expanding tree cover an important part of its commitment to be Carbon net zero by 2050. The ETS is a huge opportunity for DEFRA to show that trees and woods are not just carbon sponges waiting to be planted, but an integral part of the landscape, helping form networks of habitats and making your land more resilient.
Here at the Woodland Trust we will be calling for the ETS to fully support farmers to both manage and expand trees and woods on farms. We believe trees should be in every farmer’s toolbox helping to boost productivity, resilience and the health of the environment with no need for trade off with food production. The Trust has a range of schemes to help you integrate trees into your farm and has already supported the creation of over 2,500ha of small areas of woodland and shelter belts through its *MOREwoods scheme and over 200 km through its *MOREHedges scheme. An expert advisor will discuss the best species, tree protection and ongoing maintenance requirements with you to help you get the results you are looking for. Generous funding is available and in some cases support with planting can be arranged too. Visit our website at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant to find out more or apply online for our planting schemes.
We will be calling for much greater support for trees on farms, often referred to as agroforestry, in both the ETS but also in the new environmental land management schemes being developed by each devolved nation. As Nature Friendly Farmers we know you appreciate the value of working with the environment and creating havens for wildlife so we hope every member of the NFFN can get behind our ETS campaign and help us promote trees and hedges as part of a more sustainable
approach to farming.
Stephen Briggs, NFFN farmer in Cambridgeshire who has created a 52 hectare silvoarable scheme in 2010 reports “integrating trees into my farming system is capturing carbon, delivering soil protection, providing habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects and the local wildlife as well as making us more income. Trees grown as agroforestry can be just as valuable outside of woods as in and Government schemes throughout the UK need to reflect this in the support provided to farmers.”
*MOREwoods and MOREhedges are funded by Woodland Trust partners: Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland.