The Planting of Native Trees

The following message was posted on the uk.environment.conservation newsgroup and gives an insight into why there are so many enthusiastic "charities" jumping on the bandwagon of planting native trees.

Mr Willers plants trees in Scotland.

From: "Graham Willers" Date: 09-01-01 13:34 GMT Standard Time

If you plant NATIVE trees on the land you can claim

Woodland Grant Scheme = £1350 per ha

Farm Woodland Premium Supplement = up to £300 per ha. per year for up to 15 years

Better Land Supplement (if you have 'better land' of course - most arable land is 'better land') = £600 per ha

Community Woodland Supplement - (If you allow public access) = £950 per ha (usually only on part of the ground)

'Challenge Funding' (If your land is within designated areas that qualify for this special grant - ie Grampian Region) up to £1200 per ha but usually around £900 per ha.

Carbon Offset Grant = around £300 - £500 per ha. If you choose your site carefully it is perfectly possible to claim all of these grants on the same ha of ground.

There are also a range of grants under the Countryside Premium Scheme which is about to be re-launched as the Rural Stewardship Scheme. This scheme provides grants for such things as fencing livestock out of water margins and creating hedges and field edge habitats etc. They are quite generous and if you do the work yourself they will easily cover the cost of materials. However you have to carry out a 'conservation audit' first and this is a difficult and skilled undertaking that will probably require hiring a professional.

I don't know much about lottery grants but as I understand it each application is judged on its individual merits so if you had, say, a SSSI on the land then perhaps you could get lottery funding on top of the above.

Sometimes it is possible to get volunteer labour to help with the planting too.

So! - it is just about feasible to buy land with the sole intention of planting it with trees and to make a good profit on it right from the start.

The trees and planting only cost about £1200- £1500 per ha to establish but what screws the whole thing up is the deer.

If you have too many deer in the area then you have to protect the trees with tubes and this can put the price up to around £4000-£5000 per ha and makes the whole thing unviable.

If the deer population were to be controlled at a sustainable level I could have planted 3 times as many trees last year.

Regards GW

Trees can be protected without shooting deer, but it costs more.