Matthew Neville

Northumberland environmental project creates new local community woodlands

Plans to plant millions of trees across Northumberland are underway, creating new forests and marking the start of wider engagement to deliver more tree planting in the county.

Partners from the Northumberland Woodland Creation Partnership came together to attend the official launch event and ceremonial tree plant at Kirkharle Courtyard. The partnership aims to work alongside landowners, farmers, and communities to enhance tree establishment across the county.

Cllr Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “The Great Northumberland Forest is a plan to plant millions of trees, creating more wooded landscapes across the county by 2030 to help tackle the big challenges facing society such as climate change and biodiversity decline, while promoting health and wellbeing, and supporting a thriving local economy.”

The Forest has been developing the first phase of delivery with two Forestry England Woodland Creation schemes at Rusty Knowe in Kielder and Monkridge near Otterburn. A total of one million trees will be planted across 500 hectares of land between 2020 and 2024.

Sir William Worsley, chair of the forestry commission, said: “This Woodland Creation Partnership successfully brings together key stakeholders from across the county to facilitate a change in pace and accelerate tree planting in Northumberland, planting the right tree in the right place for the right reasons.”

A variety of different woodland types and sizes will be created to suit local needs, including orchards, and small community woodlands, to larger-scale schemes which will bring together farming, forestry, biodiversity, and recreation.

Forestry minister Lord Goldsmith said: “I am pleased to see the progress that this trail-blazing Woodland Creation Partnership has made since its announcement in 2019.

“Further engagement with landowners, farmers and communities will help to support the ambitious commitment that our Government has made to treble tree planting by the end of this Parliament.”

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