Graham Stuart, has welcomed proposals to plant 50 million trees across 62,000 hectares stretching between Liverpool and Beverley and Holderness.
The Northern Forest scheme, being run by the Woodland Trust, aims to create a forest that will both accelerate the creation of new woodland and support the sustainable management of existing woods across the area. The Northern Forest will connect five Community Forests in the north of England and aims to provide a new habitat for wildlife, as well as bolstering the local economy by an estimated £2bn through tourism, jobs and reducing flood risk to 190,000 homes.
The Beverley and Holderness part of the forest is being led by HEYwoods which is managed by a partnership of government agencies, local councils and environmental charities through a steering group. The HEYwoods initiative aims to increase woodland cover and to improve the management of existing trees, woods and associated habitats. Currently, Hull and the East Riding has only 2.6% woodland cover which is considerably less than the national average of 8.4%.
Around 30 organisations currently make up the HEYwoods initiative partnership. These partners include government agencies, national and regional conservation organisations, local charities and key individuals.
HEYwoods’ coordinator, Stephen Robinson, said "HEYwoods is looking forward to working alongside other Community Forests and the Woodland Trust on the new Northern Forest. Our contribution locally will be to focus new planting where it can have the most impact; such as by improving health, reducing flood risk and setting the scene for inward investment"
Graham said “This is a great initiative which will strengthen the green infrastructure of the area and deliver a wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits. I’m particularly pleased to see that the Government has provided £6 million to get the project off the ground and I look forward to getting involved as the tree plantings get underway”.
For more information on the Northern Forest, please go to https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/ or contact Stephen Robinson at HEYwoods atStephen.Robinson@eastriding.gov.uk or on 01482 393726.