Government to spearhead forest creation in Northumberland

The Government has announced plans to create a new forest region in Northumberland to improve the environment and respond to climate change.

Image: Gidzy (CC BY 2.0)
Image: Gidzy (CC BY 2.0)

Addressing the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Defra secretary of state Theresa Villiers said: "I'm delighted to announce that we'll press ahead with creating extensive new forests in Northumberland, following on from our pioneering work on the Northern Forest."

To kick-start the so-called Great Northumberland Forest, the Government has already commited to planting three new forests, with "up to one million trees" to be planted between 2020 and 2024.

It will also set up a new forestry partnership to help identify sites for planting and bring local stakeholders on board.

"These new plans will pave the way for further Woodland Creation Partnerships elsewhere in the country," Defra said.

The plans have been championed by local MP Guy Opperman, who welcomed the go-ahead saying: "This is great news for Northumberland and I am delighted that our county is at the heart of the Government's broader plan to tackle climate change and enhance biodiversity."

He added: "Trees and forests are an essential part of the our countryside, provide significant health and wellbeing benefits, and are a vital part of our response to climate change. This plan also supports timber industries in the longer term, which are crucial to the Northumberland economy."

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