The NFU have this week launched a strategy highlighting the need for planting “the right tree in the right place”, following government’s recently published England Trees Action Plan.
The new document states that the right tree species must be selected, appropriately sourced to match the location, while maximising successful long-term objectives, and preserving land for food production.
Commenting from the Great Yorkshire Show, NFU environment forum chairman Richard Bramley said:
“Farmers right across the country understand just how important trees, hedgerows and woodland are, and recognise that there is a clear target to increase tree planting.
“They offer obvious benefits to the environment, particularly how they can contribute to British farming reaching its 2040 net zero ambition, but they are also invaluable for our farmland; providing field boundaries or offering shade to cows and sheep during the summer months.
“The overriding message I hear from farmers is the importance of planting the right tree in the right place and that is why we have put that message front and centre of our Tree Strategy.”
The strategy also sets out key aspects that must be considered when government is developing new tree planting policy:
- Recognition of the importance of bringing existing woodland back into active management.
- The need for the government to address existing barriers to tree planting, particularly existing tenancy clauses which prevent 30% of agricultural land from engaging in tree planting.
- The need for increased recognition and incentives for trees outside of woodland, which contribute hugely to our natural environment and act as important carbon sinks.
The NFU Tree Strategy can be read in full on the organisation’s website.