The offer is part of the Trust’s MOREwoods scheme which last year saw the creation of 60 hectares (148 acres) of woodland throughout the Province.
Patrick Cregg, director of the Woodland Trust in Northern Ireland, says: “We had a fantastic response to the scheme’s launch and provided funding to over 80 individuals, who are already enjoying the early stages of their very own woodland. We’re now delighted to be able to extend our offer of support.”
According to the conservation charity, the creation of a wildlife habitat was the top tree-planting motive, as cited by those taking part in the scheme throughout the UK. And these days, with rising energy costs, more and more people are planning to plant for wood fuel. Home-grown firewood can, with careful management, be available within seven to 15 years of planting, with annual sustainable supplies thereafter. Around two to three hectares of new native woodland will produce enough fuel to heat a typical three-bedroom house.
Margaret and Maurice Phillips, from outside Ballymena in County Antrim, are just two of an increasing number of local people looking forward to reaping the fruits of their tree-planting efforts.
Margaret Phillips says: “We had lots of reasons for deciding to convert a previously unused piece of land into woodland. For a start, there’s a lot of wildlife in the area and this planting will provide an extended habitat. We deliberately kept some areas clear, as we want to be able to walk through and really appreciate the new wood. And we have plans for the years ahead: we’re going to coppice some trees to produce sustainable supplies of fuel for our stove. We actually sell wood-burning stoves, and we’re really excited by the prospect of having our own home-grown firewood.”
The Trust’s MOREwoods programme is aimed at landowners wishing to plant a minimum of 1 hectare (2.47 acres). Individuals must be prepared to contribute towards the cost of the scheme.
“Some landowners will be eligible for grant-aid from Forest Service’s Woodland Grant Scheme. Those who don’t qualify for government funding can apply for support from the Woodland Trust. In either case, we’ll offer straightforward advice and will point you in the right direction,” says Patrick Cregg.
Apply now for funding via the Trust’s MOREwoods project for tree planting this November/December.
To find out more, call the Woodland Trust on 0845 293 5689 or email email@example.com