The scheme run by PDNPA and The Woodland Trust will run from October for the start of the 2015/16 planting season, with potential for a further two years.
Eligible locations include farm shelterbelts and woodlands providing opportunities for wildlife, recreation, landscape enhancement and small scale wood fuel provision. Funding is limited and will be awarded to appropriate proposals on a ‘first come first served’ basis. Where possible, funds from the national Countryside Stewardship Scheme will be used.
Suzanne Fletcher, countryside and economy manager at the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We are really excited by this partnership with the Woodland Trust which could mean up to 8,000 new woodland trees in each year.
“Planting trees on upland farms can provide shelter and shade for livestock, and crops, reduce soil erosion on farms by helping water infiltration rates and reduce the risk of flooding. In time, these woodlands could also provide wood fuel and timber for sale or personal use.
“There are many additional benefits for the national park, including important new habitats for upland birds and improvements to the landscape.’’
Native tree species including beech, small leaved lime, field maple, English and sessile oak can be planted, depending on location, exposure of the site and soil conditions. Alternative species include alder, bird cherry, goat willow, mountain ash, silver birch, holly, whitebeam and crab apple, as well as shrubs like hawthorn, guelder rose, hazel and dogwood.
Doug Edmondson, Woodland Trust woodland creation advisor, said: “We have many years’ experience working with landowners across the country and we’re keen to hear from anyone wishing to explore the potential benefits from planting trees.
“Every tree planted works towards increasing the level of woodland cover across the UK, which at 13% is far less than the European average, which is over 40%.”