Increasing tree cover
Tree cover in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is very low compared to the national average of about 9%. We have about 1.6% cover of broadleaves and 2% cover of conifer plantations.
In 1995 the first Dales Woodland Strategy was published (the most recent version is now the fourth revision, published in 2013). The original strategy laid out the Dales Woodland Forum's policy towards the trees and woodlands in the National Park for the following five years and set an aim of doubling the amount of woodland by planting 2,000 hectares of woodland by 2020. Between 1995 and 2013, a substantial amount of new broadleaved woodland was planted (approximately 1,301 hectares), and there has been positive management of both broadleaved and conifer woodland. We are doing well, but there is still some way to go and we need to plant more new woodland to reach our target.
How we can help with new planting
The Authority can advise on planting trees as well as managing woodlands. We work closely with the Forestry Commission and Yorwoods to find grants and provide advice for landowners. We can assist landowners to draw up management plans and to obtain grants to undertake the work, as well as advising on suitable contractors to contact.
Grants are available from the Forestry Commission (Countryside Stewardship). In addition to this, the National Park Authority (New Native Woodland Grant) continues to support woodland creation. All of this funding is regularly complemented by funding from Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust which continues to fundraise to support woodland activity within the National Park.
Woodland as a positive part of the landscape
Here at the National Park Authority, we really want to encourage the creation of woodlands and plantations to be more than just planting more trees, but to be new woodlands that contribute positively to the landscape character and scenery of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. We have produced a guide to woodland siting and design that should be useful if you are considering planting new woodland or making alterations to existing woodlands. By following its guidelines it will ensure that your woodland design fits into the existing landscape.
Can we help?
If you are considering planting new woodland or making alterations to existing woodlands, please contact us to see how we can help.