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MoD joins massive forestry drive

[Tuesday 25 May 2010]

The campaign to double Britain’s tree cover has received a huge boost with an agreement between the Woodland Trust and the Ministry of Defence – which has vast land holdings – to plant thousands more trees on it training grounds.

The MoD has some 240,000 hectares scattered around the UK but much of it is in North Yorkshire around Catterick and in the Northern Pennines near Otterburn. Although the Army has been promoting the spread of wildlife in these areas for many years, this is the firs time that an extensive re-forestry programme has been arranged.

The holdings are managed by Defence Estates (DE) which has announced it has linked with the Woodland Trust – which manages more than1000 woods and forests – to “maximize tree planting on MoD land.” Recent independent scientific reports have called for a major increase in trees and woodland to counter climate change and move the country into a low carbon society, explained Sue Holden, Chief Executive of the Woodland Trust.

She went on: “We are extremely excited about the prospect of creating lots of new woodland through our partnership with Defence Estates.

“Our aim is to double native tree cover in the UK and we’re delighted that Defence Estates is prepared to show leadership in sustainable land management in this way.

“We anticipate this new partnership and the findings of the next three months will present a powerful argument that it can be done and I am convinced that there are others for whom planting would prove a positive step.”

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