The South Yorkshire Woodland Creation Project’s primary objective is to increase the amount of trees and woodlands planted in South Yorkshire.
There are a number of ways we plan to achieve this:
- Mapping the potential areas and opportunities across SY for woodland creation so that these are widely understood and can be prioritised. We are currently working with consultants in developing and using a Natural Capital Map for South Yorkshire to achieve this and is due to be completed in May.
- Assessing and ground-truthing the suitability of sites for tree planting, using a frame work to evaluate multiple benefits i.e. ecosystem services. Crucially, ensuring planting does not take place on important existing priority habitat so it’s the right tree, in the right place, for the right reason with the right management!
- Supporting the four Local Authorities, the City Region and other partners with their current tree planting targets and site identification.
- Delivering a co-ordinated landowner engagement plan to identify sites and to promote woodland creation and funding available in South Yorkshire.
- Raise funding to facilitate investment in woodland creation and existing woodland management, for example through applying for grant funding and/or seeking support from new partners and other organisations interested in carbon off-setting or natural flood risk management in South Yorkshire. This could be key to ensuring this work becomes more financially sustainable.
- Develop and deliver a public engagement plan to increase the profile of tree planting and woodland creation in South Yorkshire and seek ways to increase capacity for public involvement across partners.
Where we operate
The South Yorkshire region is comprised of the local authorities of Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Rotherham. This is within the Northern Forest.
Why plant trees?
Sheffield City Region and all Local Authorities in South Yorkshire have declared a Climate Emergency and consider carbon capture through tree planting an important tool in meeting their carbon zero targets. In response to this declaration the Sheffield City Region’s Net Zero Climate Emergency Response Framework sets out an approach to take action.
This Framework particularly refers to tree planting as a key opportunity for increasing carbon capture in the city region – through reforestation as well as green retrofitting, with public assets and infrastructure projects offering real opportunities.
However, trees don’t just absorb carbon. For example, they can help us in with changes to our climate by reducing flooding and cooling the air. They are a home to wildlife and will help address the catastrophic loss of biodiversity we are experiencing. Woodlands and trees have a proven positive effect on our mental and physical health as well as having a huge impact on our economy. Woodland creation can also contribute to the regions recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.
More information on the benefits of woodlands and tree planting can be found here.
Aren’t there enough trees already?
The current woodland cover in South Yorkshire is 10.3% or 16,008ha (National Forest Inventory)
On a local authority area basis; woodland cover in Sheffield is approximately 13% (4,791ha), Barnsley is 10.7% (3,571ha), Rotherham is 10.1% (2,892ha), Doncaster is 8.5% (4,808ha)
The average woodland cover in the UK is 13% This compares with 38% for the EU as a whole and 31% worldwide. (Forest Research)
As such we have a long way to go to replace the woodlands we have lost over the centuries and even catch up with our European neighbours who enjoy the benefits we hope to produce.
However, there is a strong political will reflecting the publics support for more tree planting and the benefits this will bring. This was evident during the 2019 general election, when all main political parties made commitments to ambitious tree planting targets.
We want to link people with woodland creation and management. To do this we need to work with landowners, businesses and communities to support new projects.
Land owners and managers
We can help in the design and development of tree and woodland projects, help with regulatory processed and offer advice regarding grant and funding opportunities. Find out more about how we support landowners to plant trees and create woodlands in Information for landowners and managers.
We can help you engage with local woodland creation projects, link with the community and take part. You can do this by making a donation or giving in kind support such as staff time. To explore options contact Matt North .
Want to get involved hands on? We can put you in touch with our partners or projects in your area. To find out more, contact Matt North here
Make a donation
Help us create more woodland. Contact Matt North to discuss how you would like to support