Plans to double tree cover

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The Yorkshire Dales is set to receive a financial boost to support the creation of new native woodlands over the next two years.

The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) charity has been awarded £120,000 for woodland restoration from SITA Trust, an independent ethical funder dedicated to improving the environment and community life.

YDMT is now looking for suitable sites across the Yorkshire Dales to create woodlands with native broadleaf species and wants to hear from any landowners who may be interested.

Depending on the site, a grant of up to 100 per cent of the cost of creating the new woodland could be available to landowners.

Chris Lodge, woodland development officer at YDMT, said: “We’re appealing to farmers and landowners with any possible sites for planting to come forward.

“Planting trees is a vital long term investment in the environment, and together, thanks to this significant grant awarded by SITA Trust, we really will be able to make a huge difference to the future of the Yorkshire Dales landscape.”

Working with partners including the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission, YDMT is also offering guidance and help to landowners throughout the process, including discussing potential sites, suggesting suitable tree species and protection methods, and helping with the design, planning and maintenance.

Jools Granville of SITA Trust said: “We are delighted that our funding will enable this vital project to go ahead and look forward to seeing the benefits in years to come.”

Only around 2.5 per cent of the Yorkshire Dales National Park is covered with native broadleaf trees compared with the national average of 4.8 per cent and the aim is to almost double the amount of broadleaf cover in the National Park to 5,000 hectares by 2020.

Geoff Garrett, senior trees and woodlands officer at Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority added: “We are delighted to hear that this significant amount of funding has been awarded to Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

“We look forward to working with our partners and landowners to help increase the area of woodland within the National Park.”

For more information, email Chris Lodge at chris/lodge@ydmt.org.uk or call 015242 51002.