British Landowners To Be Paid to Plant Native Trees

by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer

The British government will pay landowners for creating new woodlands thanks to a new £16 million program by the country’s Forestry Commission.

  • The fund will financially reward woodlands that help wildlife, increase public access, and reduce flooding, The Guardian reports.
  • It’ll provide money for planting trees as well as forests and woodlands created by more natural seed dispersal.

Past programs only funded new plantings, although for people who put new trees in the ground, the government plans to plant native species. People can earn up to £8,500 for their trees providing public good

Why This Matters: The latest forestry payment program rewards the outcome of protected woodlands, not how they got there. By paying people with naturally occurring woods on their property as well as people planting new groves, the government acknowledges the benefits these spaces provide over the process. Only 7% of UK’s woodlands are in good condition, according to a report earlier this year, because of threats from development, non-native pests, and climate change. The new program provides direct financial support to protect existing woods and create new ones.  

Program Builds on Tree Planting Progress: The woodland program will help the UK government work toward its goal of planting 30,000 hectares a year across the country by 2025. From 2019-2022, more than 2,300 hectares of new woodland were created. Programs up until this point have primarily focused on new planting, ignoring the woodlands that exist.

At last the government has seen the wood for the trees and will be funding farmers and landowners to allow the natural regeneration of tree saplings,” Guy Shrubsole from Rewilding Britain told The Guardian. “Whilst tree planting has its place, allowing trees to re-seed is often a much better way to create natural, species-rich scrub and woodland habitats.”

 

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