Part of our commitment to increasing biodiversity here on the farm involves introducing new woodland habitat, and so we’re planting over 800 new trees this year which extends the existing woodland significantly. We’re also planting additional hedgerows and allowing the overcut hedges along our drive to recover for a couple of years. We have been fortunate enough to get grants for our trees, and many have asked how we went about that, so here are some details.
In the first instance we contacted the Woodland Trust who have details for grants throughout the UK. Here is the link for Northern Ireland.. We went for the Woodland Grant scheme, which requires that you plant 0.2 hectare (half an acre) minimum, and which covers the cost of the trees, as well as planting, but not fencing. You get 70% after planting and 30% after 5 years.
We also have trees coming from the One Million Trees In One Day scheme, which has officially closed for new applicants but is worth contacting as I still see them looking for more takers.
On Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd March we will be planting native trees, along with thousands of other folk across Northern Ireland and Ireland.
One other scheme here is Trees For Mourne, which is looking for landowners to plant Oakwoods. Details are here.
We live in one of the least forested areas of Europe, and so planting broadleaf trees is a positive step towards redressing the balance, and also providing future generations with not only a nicer place in which to live, but an increasingly valuable resource.