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Forest of Marston Vale Trust Delivers Record Tree Planting Season

Last winter, projects delivered through the Forest of Marston Vale Trust created nearly 120 hectares of new tree planting. This incredible achievement for the Trust’s Forest Creation Team is an area three and half times larger than has ever been planted in a single season before and equates to over 150,000 trees and nearly 7 km of hedgerow.

As a catalyst for woodland creation, the Forest of Marston Vale Trust has been a trusted partner for landowners in the area for over 25 years. Thanks to the Trees for Climate programme, the Trust has been able to extend that support to offer their expertise and experience, combined with an attractive funding package beyond the Forest boundary (see map). The Trust doesn’t take a “one size fits all” approach to support or funding; instead it works with landowners to assess potential planting ideas and help to develop schemes that fit their business and environmental objectives.

Trees for Climate is a multi-million pound woodland creation programme that offers landowners and community groups the opportunity to transform their land through tree planting. The programme can provide funding to create the woodland together with ongoing maintenance payments for up to 15 years.

James Russell, Forest Director at the Forest of Marston Vale Trust, said: “The Forest of Marston Vale Trust has a long history of building relationships with local landowners, and through the Trees for Climate programme we have the funding to support them in bringing the impressive range of benefits which come from planting trees to their land.”

The Forest of Marston Vale is one of England’s Community Forests, which nationally delivered over 1,000 hectares of new woodland last winter and is aiming to double that in the next planting season. The trees planted in 2022-23 are expected to sequester 10,499 tonnes CO2e/y over their lifetime.

Mark and Kier Hall from Medbury Farm, Elstow were so happy with the Trees for Climate approach that they agreed to take part in a video testimonial for England’s Community Forests. Kier Hall and Nick Marsh, Forest Creation Officer for Forest of Marston Vale Trust, were interviewed, and the team got some great footage of the farm. They were hugely positive and because of their desire to increase biodiversity, expand existing woodlands and hedgerows and create a shelter belt protecting against new developments, 13 hectares were planted on their land.

Kier Hall said “We looked at various tree woodland grant options and when we saw the Trees for Climate option, we thought that it was the most competitive financially, which for a small tenant business like ours is important. But also, they offered the expertise and the whole package, so from planning right through to delivery and the maintenance as well and created a plan that was going to be practical to implement.”

Trees for Climate funding is still available, and the Trust’s Forest Creation Team is actively seeking landowners and community groups interested in planting on their land.

To find out more, visit their website https://www.marstonvale.org/trees-for-climate, email the team at treesforclimate@marstonvale.org or call 01234 767037.