EGGER Forestry has secured approval and grant aid for a 40-hectare woodland creation scheme in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The upland woodland will be created in accordance with the UK Forestry Standard following stakeholder consultation part-funded by the Forestry Commission’s Woodland Creation Planning Grant, which also contributes towards the woodland design. Tree planting will be grant aided with European funding.
Dave Robson, Area Manager for EGGER Forest Management explains: “Gaining approval for a predominantly coniferous planting scheme within a national park is quite unusual. Through a lengthy stakeholder consultation process we were able to demonstrate the benefits that our proposal could bring to the area and how our proposal would fit in with the surrounding landscape. Yorkshire Dales National Park, Natural England and the Forestry Commission have recognised and supported the environmental, sustainable and economic values of this scheme."
“It can be very difficult to gain approval for productive woodland planting schemes in England, which is a great shame as there is a real need to plant more trees in the UK. New woodlands can offer significant benefits; they can provide diverse habitats for wildlife, improve water quality, alleviate flooding and they can be used for recreation whilst supporting a prosperous low-carbon economy."
“In this case, the support of the Forestry Commission’s Woodland Creation Planning Grant was fundamental – essentially, it went some way to de-risking the planning process.”
The 40-hectare scheme identified and developed opportunities to expand on adjacent existing woodlands as it joins up with an important neighbouring red squirrel habitat where there is a visitor centre with viewing points. To the south there also exists a black grouse habitat, and the design of the woodland edge is sympathetic to this.
Land owner Robert Smedley commented: “I am delighted with the outcome that EGGER Forestry has achieved for Mirkpot Allotment. Whilst it has been a lengthy process, I had confidence that the potential Dave initially identified would be realised. Dave and his team recognised the opportunity, valued the land and carried out the initial scoping regarding potential afforestation."
“They provided me with a one-stop service from start to completion with a keen eye on costs and potential outcomes. It was a leap of faith in buying the property, but with EGGER Forestry’s expertise and the range of different UK and EU grants available I believe it has been a sound investment.”
Dave Robson added: “This scheme is tinged with sadness, as it was Robert’s late father George who initially showed an interest in creating the new woodland. It was his desire to expand productive woodland in the area which led to the opportunity. Unfortunately George passed away before the scheme was approved, but having worked with him for many years I feel he would be very happy that Robert has continued with the project.”
Work is scheduled to begin in November and tree planting will start in March 2019.