• Woodlands

    29 October 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about Britain’s woodlands.

    I agree with you that our woods and forests are an invaluable national asset and I am proud of the action that has been taken in recent years to preserve and extend British woodland. I am pleased that Ministers remain committed to planting 11 million trees during this parliament, and to the shared aspiration of reaching 12 per cent woodland cover in England by 2060.

    The Government also has ambitious plans to create a new 'Northern Forest' along the M62 corridor with the aim to plant over 50 million trees over the next 25 years, as well as plans to create a new forest project in Northumberland to help improve our natural environment and respond to climate change. To start an ambitious new Northumberland Forest, the Government has announced its commitment to create three new forests in the county, with up to one million trees to be planted in the period up to 2024. Planting is expected to begin next year to coincide with the COP26 conference. 

    In 2015 the Countryside Stewardship was introduced which included a new Woodland Creation Grant Scheme. The new scheme provided funding to encourage farmers, land managers and foresters to create new woodland, while protecting existing woodland and restoring tree health. I am pleased that these grant schemes have now been amended to make applications easier by streamlining the application processes, opening the Countryside Stewardship Woodland Creation window all year round and reducing the threshold of applications from 30 hectares to 10 hectares for Woodland Carbon Fund applications.
    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon