The Woodland Trust, working closely with Derry City Council and the Rural Area Partnership in Derry (RAPID), aims to create 100 hectares of native woodland in the beautiful Faughan Valley over the course of a 4-year project.
The Trust cites compelling reasons for farmers and landowners to plant trees, including their ability to provide shelter and shade, harbour wildlife, prevent flooding and improve water and air quality.
And now, with rising energy costs, more and more people are planting for wood fuel. With careful management, home-grown firewood can be available within 7 to 15 years of planting, with annual sustainable supplies thereafter. Around 2 to 3 hectaresof new native woodland will produce enough fuel to heat a typical 3-bedroom house.
Jackie Morgan, the Trust’s Advice and Partnership Manager, says: “We’re offering farmers and landowners all the help and advice they need to get their planting underway, and thanks to Forest Service’s Woodland Grant Scheme, grant-aid is available for planting half an acre or more.
“In addition, would-be tree planters within the Faughan Valley are currently being offered a special incentive. To assist planting during spring 2012, funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund will cover 50 per cent of the cost of livestock fencing, and rabbit and deer guards. This is a wonderful opportunity to turn unused areas of land into flourishing woodland, and at little or no cost to the landowner.”
The Faughan Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme involves a partnership between Derry City Council, RAPID and the Woodland Trust. The aim is to engage with local people, to create a vibrant natural landscape and to restore key features of the built heritage. The project covers a large area of 170 square kilometres (nearly 17,000 hectares) extending from the foothills of the North Sperrins, along the River Faughan, to the outskirts of the city of Londonderry.
To find out how to get your tree planting underway, telephone Jackie Morgan at the Woodland Trust on 08452 935 749 or email firstname.lastname@example.org