With pressure growing for increased large-scale tree planting as a response to climate change, and several ambitious proposals in the pipeline for the North East, the NFU regional team is staging a virtual event to help members understand the pros and cons of diversifying into forestry.
The move comes partly in response the government’s new England Tree Strategy, published in June, which emphasised the importance of achieving an integrated approach that balances environmental and food security considerations.
The event, taking place on Wednesday 25 November from 1.30pm, gives members a chance to hear from NFU national adviser, Alisha Anstee, and Hannah Marshall from the Woodland Trust.
Regional environment adviser, James Copeland, says the aim is to set out both the potential benefits of larger-scale tree planting but also the critical questions to ask when considering entering into tree-planting agreements.
“We are aware of the potential barriers to planting large numbers of trees”, he said. “There can be real challenges around tenancies and of course embracing a forestry diversification does represent a permanent land use change.
“That said, there are potential benefits around managing water quantity and quality, storing carbon and increasing biodiversity on-farm and trees do potentially offer the prospect of an additional income stream in the future.
“But it is very important to fully understand the implications and ask the right questions before committing to the significant investment required of time, space and money.
“We hope to cover much of this ground during the event, giving members the confidence to make more informed decisions on the role that trees can play in their farm businesses and achieve an integrated approach.”
Members should receive a personal email invitation, but can also register by email or by calling 01904 451550.