A Tree for Every Briton

Britain is currently struggling with the latest infestation of tree disease, but there e is a fantastic new scheme to plant a tree for every person in Britain which hopes to restore huge swathes of clear-felled countryside was well as urban areas. This will also increase the varieties of our trees. This is from Monday’s i paper

The multimillon-pound project will first see hedges and copses re-introduced to farmland in Suffolk and Essex affected by the ash die-back fungus. Planting will move across the low lands and eventually create 64 million new trees, including 15 million in and around towns and cities.

Areas that could see their woodlands revived include the Kielder area of Northumberland, Galloway in Scotland, Durham, Bolton and Runcorn in the north of England and the New Forest and Hertfordshire in the south.

Austin Brady, director of conservation at the Woodland Trust, told The Sunday Times that huge areas of the countryside have become “no-man’s land” for wildlife that needs trees for cover. He said pour species of trees were dying out because the amount of new woodland planted in 2014-5 covered only half of the government’s target of 12,355 acres. “we are not trying to turn the clock back, but if we lose more trees, it ceases to be a natural landscape,” he said. “In parts of the country, the ecosystem is on the brink of collapse.”

The tree-planting drive will be funded by charities, local councils, grants from the Forestry Commission and some money from the European Union, with the aim of raising £100m by 2025. It will see 20 million trees for farmland and hedges soften the view of bare fields, and 15 million trees for town and cities, starting with Durham. This woulda also create a “Green pathway” for wildlife including bats, butterflies, and pine martins.

The rest of the trees will be planted on and owned by third parties to create forests and woodlands along with the Trust’s 1,700 acre Smithies site near Bolton.

One model for this green renewal will be Hull, which went from being the least-wooded city in Britain to having 100,000 trees planted by the Woodland Trust.

The project will also provide an opportunity to increase the diversity of Britain’s trees, where the dominance of oak, elm and ash could be balanced with less common species. Rare and long-lost tree species could return as part of the project, … Tom Williamson, professor of landscape history at the University of Esat Anglia said tree species such as oak, elm and ash have dominated the British countryside as they are useful for fencing, firewood and water pipes, or just general construction materials.

But… less common species could now replace these trees … Prof. Williamson suggested sycamore, maple, beech and alder trees could be planted in Yorkshire, while aspen, cherry, beech and apple trees should suit the west of Hertfordshire. Large plots of willow trees could be planted in the low-lying areas of Northamptonshire, and black poplar, hornbeam  and maple trees could see a revival in the East of England.

It was reported that 3,000 saplings have already been sent to Suffolk and Essex.

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