Guest of honour was Sir Henry Every, deputy lieutenant for Derbyshire, who presented certificates to 22 landowners from Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire, including farmers, parish councils, businesses, estate managers and individuals.
All were successful applicants to the National Forest’s Changing Landscapes Scheme or Freewoods Scheme. Both are mechanisms for encouraging tree planting and nature conservation habitats in the National Forest.
In total, 105ha and over 100,000 trees will be added to the forest through these schemes this year. This brings the National Forest nearer the goal of one third woodland cover throughout the Forest’s 200 square miles. Since the 1990s, the woodland cover in the Forest area has trebled from six per cent to 18.8 per cent.
NFC chair Catherine Graham-Harrison said: ‘This is our best ever response to these schemes. The continuing enthusiasm to help us create the Forest is fantastic and we always look forward to seeing the individual designs, large and small, take shape and add to the overall pattern of the Forest, whether it’s through new trails; new woodlands; restored hedges or ponds; parkland trees or planting for commercial timber.
‘People lie at the heart of the vision behind the Forest – local residents taking pride in the Forest and helping look after it; visitors supporting a vibrant tourism economy; and landowners such as yourselves, helping us to ‘finish the job’ and share in the rewards from it.’
Anyone owning land in The National Forest interested in applying for CLS or Freewoods should contact Matt Brocklehurst, Head of Forestry, or Simon Greenhouse, Woodland Officer on 01283 551211.