Tractor preparing ground for new tree planting. Photo: South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership

A new push for woodland in South Yorkshire

Landowners in South Yorkshire are being urged to join a new push to get more woods planted across the county.

While great progress has been made in creating woodland on local authority land across Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham, private landowners are also being encouraged to benefit from opportunities to create new woods. As such South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership is launching a new wave of engagement focused on private landowners.

Forest Research has shown South Yorkshire has only 10.3% woodland cover and national targets for England are to reach 12% woodland cover by 2050. South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership Programme Manager Matt North says:

“Supporting private landowners will be essential to reaching this goal. There are a lot of very good reasons that people want to plant woodland but it can be daunting knowing where to start. The good news is South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership is here to give free, expert advice at every stage.

We support landowners to create well-designed, resilient woodland that provides a lot of benefits to people, wildlife and the climate. There are various grants available that mean landowners can claim for up to 100% real costs to plant as well as payments to look after the new woodland. There are also opportunities for further income, for example from Carbon Units.”

Benefits of woodland creation

There are a lot of ways that woodland brings benefits for landowners and our communities. As well as making money for landowners, they help fight the climate crisis by absorbing carbon, reducing flooding and cooling the air.

They also protect soils and reduce pollution to our air and rivers. Planting native trees will help reverse the decline in wildlife that are so important to us.

Woodland also increases the value of nearby houses and land.

Senior Project Officer Alex Evans says:

“We are here to offer free help to any landowner in South Yorkshire who is interested in creating

We can provide support through every stage of the process, working with you to design a wildlife
friendly woodland that suits your needs as well as being resilient to climate change and diseases we
may have in the future.

We also deal with the red tape that makes sure the right trees are planted for the right reason and find the best grant for your project.

To achieve the 12% target, around 2,900 hectares of South Yorkshire will need to be planted to
create woodlands. As only one of six projects in the country to get targeted funding to achieve this,
we are keen to find new land owners to work with.”

Find out more

If you are interested in finding out about how the South Woodland Partnership can help you create woodland contact the team on woodlandenquiries@wildsheffield.com or call 0114 263 4335, ext 400.

Further information can be found on our website: https://www.wildsheffield.com/sy-woodland-creation/

Newly planted Tree Sapling. Photo: Maddy Winters