Great Northumberland Forest

The Great Northumberland Forest is a plan to plant millions of trees, creating more wooded landscapes across the county.

Upcoming events and other news items.

Learn more about the Great Northumberland Forest's vision.

The Great Northumberland Forest is a plan to plant millions of trees, creating more wooded landscapes across the county by 2030.  This will help tackle the big challenges facing society, such as climate change, biodiversity decline, promoting health and wellbeing, and supporting a thriving local economy.

The idea is inspired by our determination to leave a better, more diverse, and more productive natural environment for the benefit of future generations.  By planting more trees, we will create new, natural environments that our children, communities, and businesses will benefit from for decades to come.

The new wooded areas will:
  • Provide beautiful new and enhanced landscapes
  • Absorb carbon and reduce climate change impacts, such as flooding
  • Help grow our agriculture, forestry and wood processing businesses, creating jobs and prosperity
  • Provide recreational areas to improve health and wellbeing, and offer new activities for visitors
  • Improve and expand habitats for plants and wildlife
  • Provide clean air and water
  • Lead a green recovery in Northumberland as we emerge from the Covid 19 crisis
A variety of different woodland types and sizes will be created to suit local needs, from the planting of individual trees, orchards, and small community woodlands, to larger-scale schemes bringing together farming, forestry, biodiversity, and recreation.  In some places there will be slow growing native woodlands providing habitats for treasured wildlife.  In others, faster growing, highly productive woodlands will rapidly absorb carbon and produce timber.

New trees will be planted in places across our diverse county, from our rural and farming heartlands, to our stunning coastal communities, on the fringes of our traditional industrial towns, to remote upland locations. Together they will be known as the Great Northumberland Forest.

For farmers and businesses, this will mean new opportunities to earn income from the land, diversifying into woodland management and outdoors-based tourism, or building sustainable forestry and wood processing businesses, creating jobs and wealth along the way.

For local people and communities, it will mean more opportunities to enjoy nature, live healthy lifestyles, appreciate our beautiful landscapes, and play our part in protecting the environment, fulfilling Northumberland’s commitment to become a ‘net zero carbon’ place by 2030.

In creating new woodland areas, we will take great care to safeguard our most precious open landscapes and wildlife habitats, including in our National Park and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), as well as preserving our best land for sustainable local food production.  We will work closely with farmers and land managers, encouraging them to plant trees for the benefit of their businesses and local communities.  People, communities, and land managers are at the heart of planning and leading the growth in tree planting across the county.

The Great Northumberland Forest will be a very visible expression of our unique identity and our passion for landscapes, nature, and the environment.  A legacy from our generation to the next - created for the benefit of all Northumbrians from all backgrounds and communities, strengthening the distinctive character of the county for many generations to come.

 

The Great Northumberland Forest Badge

A school child's winning picture has been designed into a badge for the Great Northumberland Forest.

The winning image turned into the great Northumberland forest badge. Three trees in the centre of a circle with a green background. The Northumberland flag pattern going around the outside as a ring. Great Northumberland Forest writing above the trees.

Learn more about the partnership approach behind the Great Northumberland Forest.

The Northumberland Woodland Creation Partnership is made up of 14 organisations.  The partners include: DEFRA, Northumberland County Council, Forestry Commission, Natural England, the Woodland Trust, Northumberland National Park Authority, the Environment Agency, the Country Land and Business Association, Forestry England, the MOD, Confor, Northumberland CAN (Community Action Northumberland), the National Farmers' Union, and the Northumberland Wildlife Trust. 

The logos of the Northumberland Woodland Creation Partnership made up of 14 organisations


Mission
The Northumberland Woodland Creation Partnership will empower and support our communities, landowners, and farmers to create and expand woodland areas, enhancing and growing our natural capital through integrated land use management.

Strategic Objectives 
 
  • To make possible an increase in the pace and extent of appropriate tree planting schemes
  • To deliver a range of complementary benefits including sustained carbon capture, habitat creation / restoration, recreation, flood mitigation, water quality improvements, and economic growth
  • To provide the raw material to support a thriving timber supply and processing sector, creating jobs and prosperity
  • To demonstrate to land managers the value and opportunities presented by adopting integrated land use management and increasing natural capital
  • To share and apply best practice, working effectively with other relevant projects and programmes
  • To identify where changes to the current natural capital incentives and regulations would improve the pace and acceleration of appropriate tree planting
Approach
Our approach will be to promote the planting of ‘the right tree, in the right place’ (with the right management), balancing the needs of our natural assets and rural economy with the interests of people, communities, and land managers across the county.

In doing this, we will adopt a natural capital approach, accelerating tree-planting while complementing, enhancing, and protecting our natural assets including nature, ecology, woodland, forest, water, land, soil, and air.
 
Tree-planting will be locally-led, and will involve and engage communities, landowners, and land managers in local areas, working with agencies to make objective, balanced decisions on appropriate tree planting schemes.

Launch
The Great Northumberland Forest was officially launched in November 2019 at a tree planting event in Kirkharle.  Watch the short video to see and hear from the people there.  The winning school child from Corbridge Middle School was presented with a wooden medal of her badge design.  
The Great Northumberland Forest StoryMap

StoryMap
The partnership have published a StoryMap.  It first maps the areas of current woodland, then maps and measures the potential at a broad county level.  The maps to illustrate what and where is the woodland potential is still evolving.  There are areas where trees are unlikely to be appropriate, because they would conflict with considerations such as peaty soils, historical features, landscape or important habitats / species.  The maps don't wish to make any assumptions on what landowners should do - they are simply a guide for site visits and discussions on the ground.  Plus, the areas unshaded on the 'potential' map might still be possible, for a different kind of tree establishment scheme.  You can contact us (enquiries.forest@northumberland.gov.uk) with any comments and feedback.  
Find out more about woodland or tree planting support and advice.

The Great Northumberland Forest team are available to support communities, landowners and their agents to develop tree planting and woodland creation projects across Northumberland.  

The team will be able to guide your project from an initial plan or idea, through to delivery on the ground.  Our aim is to help you to create a well-designed, suitably financed tree planting project.  

We aim to provide any additional free support you require by accessing the wide range of technical and professional expertise that exists across the Northumberland Woodland Creation Partnership.  

The areas where we can support your project include: 
We can support a multi-disciplinary approach to designing new woodlands to achieve your objectives and maximise wider benefits to society, ensuring we are planting the right trees in the right places, with the right management, for the right reasons.

Woodland design has changed a lot since the monoculture blocks of the 1970s and 1980s. The impact on nearby breeding waders, on peat soils and hydrology, on heritage features and on landscape are elements which particularly need a site by site approach.  

Even species selection is important.  Rather than first selecting a species and then trying to alter the site to suit, there are tools now to help select the species that are most ecologically suited to particular sites. The user only has to input a grid reference and soil type. For example, view Forest Research's Ecological Site Classification system here (opens in a new tab).  

There is a guide to help land managers when peat, vegetation or bird surveys are needed.  Specialist surveys may be needed where these features are on or near a proposed tree planting site. Download the 30 page pdf from the gov.uk website.  
Part of a well-designed woodland is seeking the advice and approval of a range of statutory and local stakeholders. We can support this engagement process.
Depending on the scale and location of your project there may be some regulatory approvals that your project will require. We will work with you and the relevant authorities to gain any necessary permissions needed for your project to become a reality.
There is currently a range of funding options available to support tree and woodland planting across the region. We can work with you to match you with the funding options that best suit your requirements. We can also help you with any applications you need to submit.
If you need help in delivering your project on the ground, we can work with the wider Northumberland Woodland Creation Partnership to source not only the trees and materials you need, but also the resources needed to plant the trees. This can include working with local community and volunteer groups.
More information about funding available for tree planting and woodland creation.

As well as direct support, we can also signpost further support and funding options to help landowners in making decisions about their land management future and what funding options are out there to deliver tree planting and woodland creation projects.  These include:
The Future Farming Resilience Fund is designed to provide business support to farmers and land managers during the early years of agricultural transition as we move away from Basic Payments.

A range of organisations have been awarded grants to help farmers and land managers understand the changes that are happening; identify how, what and when they may need to adapt their business models; and access tailored support to adapt.

The support will be available free of charge to any farmer or land manager who is currently receiving Direct Payments.
We have made an A5 flyer to take to farmer / landowner events and meetings. You can download the colourful leaflet here (pdf). It includes our contact information, enquiries.forest@northumberland.gov.uk. We also have a phone number - you can leave a voicemail and we will call you back: 01670 623416.

We designed a second flyer which we will be giving out at our programme of summer events and shows. At the top of this web page, look under "news and events" to see the dates and locations. You can download the flyer here (pdf).  
A leaflet has been produced, "How trees benefit your farm business" by the Forestry Commission and Catchment Sensitive Farming. (PDF, 2 pages, 3.16MB).  

This leaflet has been put together by the Catchment Sensitive Farming partnership and the Forestry Commission.  It provides suggestions on where trees can be planted on farms and information on the benefits of trees - from natural flood management to providing shade and shelter for livestock.  
You can download a new 40-page guide that helps you with:
  • what to think about before starting to design a woodland
  • what information to include in a woodland design and how to bring it together
  • how to apply the UK Forest Standard design principles to guide and strengthen your proposal
  • how to engage with other people in your project and making use of their responses to improve your plans
  • the maps you will need to include
  • how the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process works
  • and, where to find further information.  
Download the booklet from the gov.uk website
A new 9 page leaflet from the Forestry Commission that outlines the benefits that trees can bring to your land and the financial and expert support farmers and landowners could be eligible for.  

By planting the right tree in the right place for the right reason - with the right management - woodlands can help realise the potential of land.  

Download the pdf leaflet from here.
A recent blog article by the Forestry Commission sums up the top 10 reasons farmers could consider planting trees. Such as preventing soil erosion / flooding, earning an income from the project, diversifying a farm business, combining trees with livestock or crops and to boost biodiversity - to mention a few.  

Read the blog article here (opens in a new window).  
Planting the right trees in the right places for the right reasons can provide far-reaching benefits for your farm business. This 3 page leaflet from the Forestry Commission can help you find out more.  

Download the leaflet. (Opens in a new window)
Defra are raising awareness of the England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) and the free advice that areas like Northumberland can offer.  

Visit the Woodland Creation Campaign web pages here.  

An online decision tool is being worked on to help land managers consider the grants available for the land and the options.  Also nationally DEFRA are working on an interactive map to show where the partnerships (like the Northumberland Forest) are.  

For the free specialist advice in Northumberland just email enquiries.forest@northumberland.gov.uk
A 3 page leaflet from the Forestry Commission.  Trees have far-reaching benefits for the land, for the local community, the environment and for future generations.  

Download the short leaflet. (opens in a new window)
Follow this link for a series of guides about ancient trees, caring for special trees on farms, trees in the historic landscape, also a guide for establishing trees with full open crowns that could live long enough to become the ancient or veteran trees of tomorrow.  

Tree guides (resources from the Ancient Tree Forum website)
A series of helpful guides has been put together by the West Country Rivers Trust.  Each one is 2 or 3 sides long.  The whole library of best practice advice for farmers can be seen by on the Rivers Trust website if you are interested in everything!  

The most relevant ones from a tree point of view are: 
Find out everything planting trees can do for the planet, our health and the economy in this infographic.  (In this blog article on the Forestry Commission gov.uk website).  
The Forestry Commission have published a 4-page fact sheet about the benefits of woodland creation in relation to water.  Planting the right tree in the right place can help reduce the impacts of storm and flood water and alleviate the impact of drought, improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, and help keep rivers cool.

There are a variety of planting options that can help manage floods on your land and minimise their impact on downstream communities, these include:
  • Catchment woodlands: planting catchment woodlands can intercept, slow, store and filter water to reduce flood peaks and frequency.
  • Cross-slope woodlands: cross-slope planting helps to intercept the flow of water, reducing rapid run-off and encouraging greater infiltration and storage of water in the soil.
  • Floodplain woodlands: planting woodlands in floodplains can increase the capacity to store and slow floodwaters, ultimately reducing flood peaks.
  • Riparian planting: planting trees either side of a watercourse can help to slow flood flows and reduce sediment and bankside erosion, as well as help fish have shade and oxygen to breathe.  
  • Shelterbelt woodlands: Planting blocks of woodland on your land can reduce spray drift, and capture ammonia released from livestock units and/or pesticide run-off before they reach watercourses. Appropriate planting schemes can help with soil retention as well as provide shelter for livestock or crops.  
The fact sheet includes design considerations, useful further resources, and information about grants.  
Read the fact sheet here on the gov.uk website.  
You can download an 8-page factsheet about woods and carbon.  It explains about how different species lock carbon away at different rate and includes information about the Woodland Carbon Code.  Page 3 helps to explain how much income can be generated from selling carbon units, with a useful flow chart of the stages to illustrate.  There is also information about the Woodland Carbon Guarantee.

You can download the leaflet as a pdf from gov.uk by clicking on this link.
More information and links about current grants for tree planting and woodland creation.

Find out more about some of the main grants available for woodland creation and tree planting, using the expanding "plus" signs below.  
The Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG) provides funding to prepare a Woodland Creation Design Plan which is in line with the UK Forestry Standard.

Landowners, land managers and public bodies can apply to the FC to support the planning of large-scale, multi-purpose, productive woodland creation.

Find out more about the Woodland Creation Planning Grant on the gov.uk website
The England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) is the new grant from 2021 onwards.  

EWCO supports the creation of new woodland, including through natural colonisation, on areas as small as 1 hectare (~2.5 acres). The grant is open all year round.  There are four types of payments available:
  • support for the capital items and activities to establish new woodland, at 100% of standard costs
  • annual Maintenance Payments for ten years to help establish the young trees once the capital works are complete
  • contributions towards the actual cost of installing infrastructure to provide recreational access or to enable the current or future management of the woodland
  • optional Additional Contributions where the location of the woodland and its design will deliver public benefits. Land managers can apply for more than one additional contribution on the same land where it touches the right spatial layer and the design is compatible
Find out more about the England Woodland Creation Offer on the gov.uk website.  This will help you find out if you are eligible, how the grant works, how to apply, and extra income from selling carbon.  

There is a 1-minute YouTube animation to watch which summarises the grant.  By planting trees you can improve your land, generate income, and play your part in helping the environment, and be rewarded in the process. The flexible EWCO grant covers the cost of creating your woodland, including: 
  • up to £8,500 per hectare for capital costs,
  • up to £300 per hectare to maintain the young trees for up to 10 years, and
  • support for the costs of installing infrastructure to manage the wooded area.
  • ALSO there is up to £8,000 per hectare in recognition of the value the trees bring to the environment, nature recovery and the local community.  
There is a helpful A5 leaflet to introduce the EWCO grant that can be downloaded as a pdf on the gov.uk website. 

Download the EWCO manual and many other guides and application forms on the gov.uk website.

From 2025, EWCO will become part of the new stewardship ELM scheme.  Specifically, it will be in the "Local Nature Recovery Scheme" part of ELM.  Defra expect that existing EWCO agreement holders will be able to transition their maintenance payments from 2026.  Read more on the Future Farming and Countryside blog.  
Forestry England are offering to lease your land (or part of your land), to create and manage new woodland to support government plans for woodland creation, nature recovery and progress towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

It's a unique offer where Forestry England pay a rent and do all the woodland creation on your behalf. You can diversify your business income without needing to develop new expertise and put less time and money into an unfamiliar venture.

Find out more on the Forestry England website.
 
The Great Northumberland Forest have a grant to help landowners with tree planting.  The funding is from the Government's Nature for Climate Fund.  

The aim is to help farmers and landowners with planting in small areas which would not normally qualify for the "England Woodland Creation Offer" fund. The EWCO fund has a minimum size of 1 hectare, this fund helps with those even smaller projects.  

We can support planning and design for:
  • Any size and shape of tree proejct
  • Pre-survey work for habitats, species or heritage. 
All the pre-survey work and tree establishment costs can be funded. 
  • Flexible - there is a choice of species and we follow the, "right tree, right place" advice
  • New - this grant is for new planting, not restocking
  • Advice - land managers can get free advice about existing woods and how to manage them
  • Open - land managers will still be able to top up with green finance
  • 100% - all of the planning, survey, tree delivery and tree protection / fencing costs can be funded (although there are no ongoing maintenance payments)
  • Any design - there is no minimum density or targets
Download our new A5 flyer about the fund. (pdf, 1MB).

If you would like to know more about the fund, please get in touch. You can email us at enquiries.forest@northumberland.gov.uk or you can phone 01670 623416 and request a call back. Please leave us there a voicemail with your name, number and a short message. A member of our team will call you back, usually within a week.  
 
The Woodland Trust have a number of funds and grants for tree planting and woodland creation. 
  • MOREwoods - Where more than 500 trees are planted as woodland on at least half a hectare. Funding of up to 75% of costs is available
  • Trees for you Farm - Plant 500+ trees to improve productivity and the environment on your farm. Funding of up to 100% of costs is available for agroforestry schemes benefiting the business of productive farms
  • MOREhedges – Plant 100+ metres of new hedging allowing a large tree to grow every 6 metres. Funding of up to 75% of costs is available
  • Free tree packs for schools and communities 
Find out more on the Woodland Trust website.
There are various tree planting options covered by Countryside Stewardship, including Woodland Creation and Maintenance.

18 capital items are available, the main one is TE4 (Tree planting).  
Find out more introductory details, guidance and how to apply on the gov.uk website.

Other options include:
  • WD6 Creation of wood pasture
  • WD8 Creation of successional areas and scrub
  • TE2 Planting standard parkland tree or TE1 Planting standard hedgerow tree
  • BN11 Planting new hedges
  • WD3 Woodland edges on arable land
  • WD9 Livestock exclusion supplement - scrub and successional areas
Find out more about these specific grant items on the gov.uk website.

The new version of stewardship, Environmental Land Management Scheme, or ELM scheme, will incorporate the England Woodland Creation Offer into the tier called "Local Nature Recovery Scheme" from 2025 onwards.  (Read this news item on the gov.uk website).
The Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) programme will pay for projects inside National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) boundaries. 

Projects should meet at least one of the outcomes in four themes: Climate, Nature, People and Place.

Activities that the programme might support include: 
  • Promoting connectivity between habitats
  • Action to reduce carbon emissions on a farm
Find out more about Farming in Protected Landscapes on the gov.uk website.
The Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) is the voluntary carbon standard for woodland creation projects.  If you are a landowner and can demonstrate that you meet this standard, you can sell the carbon sequestered in your woodland in the form of Woodland Carbon Units through various markets including:

The Woodland Carbon Guarantee - find out more on the gov.uk website

Forest Carbon - find out more on forest carbon's website
The Great Northumberland Forest Sponsorship Scheme

This is an exciting opportunity for individuals, companies and communities to support the work and delivery of the Great Northumberland Forest by sponsoring tree planting.
 
​All sponsorship generated will go towards purchasing trees (including the stake and guard as required) which will then be planted throughout Northumberland. 
 
One-off donations or ongoing bespoke agreements can be created, but do have some set terms and conditions in line with funder and Northumberland County Council regulations. 
 
For further information please contact the team at enquiries.forest@northumberland.gov.uk
Find out more about case studies of woodland creation and good practice by expanding the boxes below.

We are showing examples of good practice here and are on the look out for more case studies to share. 
A case study from Kirkharle. Woodland Officer Luke talks to John and Tom Anderson at Little Harle Estate about their most recent woodland creation scheme. They have planted over 12,000 trees along the River Wansbeck for wildlife and to prevent farm sediments and run off from entering the water.

Watch the You Tube video (2min 46sec).

Rushy Knowe is a 145 hectare new woodland in Kielder Forest. Forestry England saw the opportunity to use an area of upland hill grazing land and decided to take it back from agricultural use to create new forest. The aim was to create a modern, well-designed, and commercially sustainable area of multi-purpose forest, for the benefit of people, for nature and for the economy.
 

Watch the You Tube video about Rushy Knowe here (5 mins).

Farmers Paul and Nic Renison use mob grazing techniques to improve the productivity of their Cumbrian farm. They have been planting new trees and hedges across their farm to increase shelter for their flock and to reduce lamb loss.

Watch the video and read the transcript on the Woodland Trust's website.

Agroforestry can be equally relevant in lowland farming.  Farmer Stephen Briggs' agroforestry project is another case study from Cambridgeshire.  He grows apple trees and cereals side by side, and is producing more from the same area.  At the same time, he is managing the risk agains climate change as well as enhancing nature.  The scheme was developed in 2009.  Imagine standing amongst single rows of apple trees with a 24 metre alley between them for cereals.  The trees are planted north-south to minimise shading.  Pollen and nectar wildflowers are planted beneath them, providing havens for wildlife and attracting pollinators - vital for farming.  Stephen Briggs was initially motivated by wanting to protect his soils from being blown away.  

Watch the video about this silvoarable case study and read the transcript on the Woodland Trust's website (scroll down about a third of the page.

The Woodland Trust's woodland creation advisors have years of experience advising landowners on the benefits of trees. The Woodland Trust provide subsidised trees and independent advice and support to farmers interested in planting trees.

Find out more about agroforestry on the Woodland Trust's website.

Or five other agroforestry / wood pasture / silvopoultry / silvoarable / silvohorticulture case studies on the agricology website.  
 
Agroforestry can be equally relevant in lowland farming. Farmer Stephen Briggs' agroforestry project is another case study from Cambridgeshire. He grows apple trees and cereals side by side, and is producing more from the same area. At the same time, he is managing the risk against climate change as well as enhancing nature. The scheme was developed in 2009. Imagine standing amongst single rows of apple trees with a 24-metre alley between them for cereals. The trees are planted north-south to minimise shading. Pollen and nectar wildflowers are planted beneath them, providing havens for wildlife and attracting pollinators - vital for farming. Stephen Briggs was initially motivated by wanting to protect his soils from being blown away.

Watch the Woodland Trust's video on YouTube (5 minutes long)
Case study four is from the Kielderhead Wildwood project and how "wildness" is reflected in ecology, culture, history and the arts. Find out more about how the project is creating native upland pine woodland above Kielder Forest. Hear about the historically significant Scots Pine. Speakers include conservationists from Northumberland and Cumbria as well as academics from across the board. The Wildlwood is a National Lottery Heritage Funded project.

Watch the video on You Tube.  
 
Three upland farmers talk about the benefits of giving livestock access to trees and hedgerows, and why it is good for their animals, for soil health, for biodiversity and the farm's margins.  Meet Andrew Barbour from Perthshire, Glansant Morgan from Pwllrhwyaid Farm in Wales and Freya Meredith from Dartmoor in Devon.  The video also includes FWAG SW and the Soil Association.  

Watch the YouTube video here (nearly 12 minutes).

If you are interested in the topic of trees in the farmed landscape, this webinar from the Championing the Farmed Environment (CFE) is useful. Cumbrian farmer David Brass (The Lakes Free Range Egg Company) shows what planting trees has done for his farm business; Park Arkle, independent farm and woodland advisor, demystifies some of the practicalities of tree planting and management, and shows how wildlife responds; Philippa Mansfield of Catchment Sensitive Farming shares the results of the "Ammonia Reduction from Trees" project and Emma Bird from the Woodland Trust explains some of the grants available.

Watch the CFE webinar on YouTube here (1 hour)

In and near Northumberland there are more agroforestry case studies that the Woodland Trust have supported, and we are working on making those case studies available.  
  • A wood pasture case study at Middleton North farm.  The landowner here has planted new woodland and hedges and also 21 wood pasture cages each containing 6-7 species (one of which, like oak or lime, will eventually become a large, fully grown tree, with its canopy touching its neighbour!).  And a further 23 cages to be planted in the winter of 2022-23.
  • A silvohorticultural case study just outside the Northumberland boundary at Gibside Community Farm (this link opens a 3 page pdf that shows the design of alley trees and shelterbelt, orchard / coppice and willow.
  • A silvopasture case study in the north of the county - more to follow!
This case study is from Blaze Beck upstream of Cockermouth in Cumbria. Volunteers and West Cumbria Rivers Trust planted 2,500 trees along the banks of Blaze Beck. As they grow, the trees will help slow the flow of water, hopefully reducing flooding in the Cockermouth area. Also they will improve water quality by reducing the speed and erosion of the rain water coming from the fields. The trees will provide dappled shade to protect the fish, like salmon and trout. 

Tree planting for water and biodiversity in West Cumbria - YouTube
Estate Manager Roy Burrows is interviewed by Tilhill on the creation of a 50 ha native broadleaf scheme 2-3 years after it was planted. The new woods will help to screen conifer blocks in the landscape. The 5,000m of new fencing helps manage the grazing on the land in between. The survey work before planting helped to ensure that wading birds and archaeology were not impacted. Broadleaves planted near the start of a beck will help slow the flow lower down and trap sediment as well as add to a more natural ecosystem. They also discuss carbon.

Watch the video on YouTube (nearly 12 minutes)
There are a range of other case studies to see on the gov.uk website from nearby Cumbria and North Yorkshire, to elsewhere in England - including one about the Woodland Carbon Guarantee.
A link to the Climate Change part of the website

If you would like to find out more about the work of the Climate Change team about trees in Northumberland County Council, follow this link.  
Here is a set of worked case studies / examples of different types of tree planting and funding, on farms from Northumberland.

A set of real but anonymous examples from differnt types of farm around the county.  We will add more here as we go along.  Each one is just 1 side of A4.  For each site we have just experimented with the grants to see what the options would be worth in terms of farm income.  The actual location and the design would alter for each site - these are just meant to be illustrations.  Most importantly, the land manager's priorities for the site are key.  
This farmer was struggling to harvest wheat and oil seed rape if there were heavy rains in summer.  Planting trees next to the streams may help.  We also modelled areas that might be wettest after heavy rains.  Under climate change these places may be increasingly difficult to get machinery on anyway.  Trees around stream banks help to prevent soil loss.  Also, the fish in the stream can benefit - as when the water is too hot it holds less dissolved oxygen.  Shading is good for the stream's ecosystem all around.  The best bits of fields are still under arable crop.  

Open the A4 pdf by clicking on this text: Riparian buffer illustration on an arable farm
This is an arable farm with ancient woodland along the river and hedgerows between some of the fields.  Some of the field edges could be 'squared off' in line with the width of the tractor tramlines.  This would make some 'wild edges' where natural regeneration could take place.  Any new fences or gates could be funded.  Seeds from the ancient woodland could spread into this new area, but some small cluster plantings might also be needed to kick start this 'edge'.  

Open the A4 pdf by clicking on this text: Ancient Woodland expansion zone
This mixed farm already has some woods and hedges on the farm.  The farmer was interested in dividing one of the arable fields in two using a shelter belt about 30m wide.  It would be in two strips with a gate in the middle.  All the fencing and planting costs could be funded.  We know that shelterbelts can improve the farm business either by improving the soil when next to arable land, or for grazing by helping with animal health (especially at lambing time).  There is lots of different research and figures about this, so we would be happy to meet you and talk this through for your farm.  

Open the A4 pdf by clicking on this text: Shelterbelt on a mixed farm
Wood pasture is an example of agroforestry where cattle can graze under woodland.  It is a low-maintenance way of combining trees, farming and nature.  The livestock have shelter and shade.  In due course there could be timber or woodfuel for the farmer.  The area needs to be grazed by preferably traditional cattle and a careful grazing plan followed.  Think of this option as "cattle under trees" rather than parkland / trees in protective cages - which is different!

Open the A4 pdf by clicking on this text: Wood pasture case study


 
Find out more about tree planting since the Great Northumberland Forest was announced in 2019.

The Great Northumberland Forest was announced in autumn 2019 and a launch event was held at Kirkharle in November 2021.  Watch a short YouTube video from the launch.  At the event school girl Elspeth from Corbridge Middle School was awarded a certificate and a medal for winning the competition to design a badge for the project.  Read the press release about the launch event.  

Since 2019, over 1,140 hectares of woodland have been created plus over 543,000 individual trees or hedgerow trees in smaller schemes have been planted. This more than 2,131 football fields!  (2,817 acres).  More will be planted in the tree-planting season (October 2022-March 2023).

Download an illustrated summary of the data as well as a look to the future.

This includes tree planting that has been funded in the following ways:
  • Countryside Stewardship - about 351 hectares since 2019 - more about this below
  • The "Farming in Protected Landscapes" (FiPL) scheme, in the two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) or the National Park
  • The Woodland Carbon Fund and the Woodland Carbon Code schemes
  • Northumberland Wildlife Trust's Kielderhead Wildwood partnership project
  • Northumberland County Council's free tree scheme or grant schemes such as the Urban Tree Challenge Fund and the Queen's Green Canopy
  • Rivers Trusts with riparian planting, sometimes funded through private companies, others are funded through projects like the Revitalising Redesdale Landscape Partnership Scheme
  • Trees planted as part of planning applications and development (at least 40,000 trees)
  • The Green Recovery Challenge Fund at Wallington (National Trust) - and there is more planned here
  • Private landowners self-funding small-scale tree planting.  
Find out more about Tree Planting in communities on our Climate Change pages.
Watch a YouTube video of Ovington Tree Planting Group replacing ash trees in winter 2021-2022 in their village, as part of the Queen's Green Canopy! (4mins, 38 secs)
Countryside Stewardship

Under Countryside Stewardship (this scheme has run since 2016 onwards) a range of planting types can be funded.  This includes hedgerow planting, standard trees in hedgerows or parkland, the creation of wood pasture and reductions in grazing to encourage natural regeneration.  Since 2019 there has been a total of:
  • nearly 180 km of new hedges and 45 km hedgerow gapping
  • over 96,000 individual trees (standard hedgerow trees or parkland trees for example), and
  • nearly 352 hectares of woodland creation, including wood pasture, successional areas and scrub.  
Download an illustrated summary of the data as well as a look to the future.
There are some woodland creation or tree planting schemes in the pipeline, that will take place over the next few years. We think that over the next two years there are 2,800 hectares in the plannning. This includes:
  • Approximately 10 sites at an early stage of the Woodland Creation Planning Grant, which may total over 1,800 hectares
  • The new England Woodland Creation Offer it is hoped with plant the next phase of Shiel Dyke Wood, about 100 hectares, as well as a number of other new site enquiries / under consultation
  • There are plans for approximately 80 hectares of woodland creation coming forward in the Countryside Stewardship scheme
  • 400 ha being created through the Wilder Wallington project, plus 40 km of new hedgerows
  • The Wildlife Trust will continue with the Wildwood project over the next two years, with around 30 hectares still to plant.  This is funded through the National Heritage Lottery Fund and is mostly planted by amazing volunteers
  • Northumberland County Council's free tree scheme starts again in autumn 2021 as well as the Local Authority Treescapes Fund and also a "Platinum Grove" to be created as part of the Queen's Green Canopy
  • Schemes in development by the Rivers Trusts, a possible total of a further 30 hectares
  • The Woodland Trust expect to distribute around 17,000 trees and hedge plants every year in the county, through the MOREWoods, MOREHedges and the Trees for your Farm or Trees for Schools and Communities scheme
  • Community projects, like the Cresswell Pele Orchard project
  • Every year until 2030, Northumberland County Council are running the "free tree scheme" for local residents
Download an illustrated summary of the data as well as a look to the future.
How to contact the Great Northumberland Forest team.

If you would like to tell us you have planted trees, or are seeking advice or information please get in touch.  
You can email us at enquiries.forest@northumberland.gov.uk or you can phone 01670 623416 and request a call back.  Please leave us there a voicemail with your name, number and a short message.  A member of our team will call you back, usually within a week.  
Frequently asked questions or FAQs to go with the Great Northumberland Forest pages

The Great Northumberland Forest is a plan to increase the tree cover across the county. These are a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to help.  
The Great Northumberland Forest does not mean new, continuous, large planted areas. It means a generally more wooded or tree covered landscape across the county. Nearly 20% of Northumberland is a wood of some sort. This is quite good compared to the England average of 10%. But there is space within the landscapes to establish more trees for the benefit of people, for nature and for the economy.  

There are a few bigger wood planting schemes coming through. The first of these is Rushy Knowe near Kielder (145 hectares or 358 acres) where planting began in 2019.  The second of these is for a tree planting scheme at Monkridge near Elsdon. Planting will start here in winter 2021-2022 (100 hecatares or 247 acres). This land was bought by Forestry England in April 2020. Other sites are still in development.
The Great Northumberland Forest does not mean one big forest or new, continuous, large planted areas. It means a generally more wooded or tree covered landscape across the county. Nearly 20% of Northumberland is a wood of some sort. This is quite good compared to the England average of 10%. But there is space within the landscapes to establish more trees for the benefit of people, for nature and for the economy.  

Forest design has changed a lot since the time when big, single species plantations took place. There are a lot of habitat and species, soil and landscape issues to bear in mind when designing a new tree planting or tree establishement project.  

There is a guide to help land managers when peat, vegetation or bird surveys are needed.  Specialist surveys may be needed where these features are on or near a proposed tree planting site.  Download the 30 page pdf from the gov.uk website.  
There is a section on these web pages just above called "Current Grants" which we will keep up to date. There are lots of different ways of funding tree establishment, depending on the type of trees and the scale in mind. We can help farmers and land managers navigate through the grants.  We also have a "planning and planting" fund you can apply to us for, for small schemes. Contact us to ask more. 

You can email us at enquiries.forest@northumberland.gov.uk or you can phone 01670 623416 and request a call back.  Please leave us there a voicemail with your name, number and a short message.  A member of our team will call you back, usually within a week.  
 
DEFRA have also funded a Woodland Creation Partnership in Cornwall, called the Forest for Cornwall Programme (Koos rag Kernow). It was announced in March 2021.  

Next to Northumberland is the North East Community Forest (hosted by Newcastle City Council and sometimes abbreviated to NECF). This covers the area of Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland and the more urban areas of County Durham. We are working closely together with our colleagues at the North East Community Forest. Similar to Great Northumberland Forest, it is a partnership approach. It plans to plant up to 500 hectares of trees by 2025, with a long-term goal to increase canopy cover across their area to 30% by 2050. It is also supported by DEFRA's Nature for Climate Fund and was officially launched in February 2022.  Read about their launch event on Newcastle City Council's news page.

Community Forests are located in an around large urban areas - currently there are 13 other Community Forests as well as the North East (NECF) one.  Find out more about community forests on the gov.uk website.
From September 2022, the GNF have a small grant for planning and planting.  The funding is from the Government's Nature for Climate Fund.  

The aim is to help farmers and landowners with planting in small areas which would not normally qualify for the "England Woodland Creation Offer" fund.  The EWCO fund has a minimum size of 1 hectare, this fund helps with those even smaller projects.  

We can support planning and design for:
  • Any size and shape of tree proejct
  • Pre-survey work for habitats, species or heritage. 
All the pre-survey work and tree establishment costs can be funded. 
  • Flexible - there is a choice of species and we follow the, "right tree, right place" advice
  • New - this grant is for new planting, not restocking
  • Advice - land managers can get free advice about existing woods and how to manage them
  • Open - land managers will still be able to top up with green finance
  • 100% - all of the planning, survey, tree delivery and tree protection / fencing costs can be funded (although there are no ongoing maintenance payments)
  • Any design - there is no minimum density or targets
Find out more in our A5 flyer which you can download from here. (pdf, 1MB).
Or contact us to ask more.  You can email us at enquiries.forest@northumberland.gov.uk or you can phone 01670 623416 and request a call back.  Please leave us there a voicemail with your name, number and a short message.  A member of our team will call you back, usually within a week.  

 
No, we are not setting a target of areas to plant. Our mission is to empower and support our rural communities, landowners and farmers to create and to expand woodland areas across Northumberland.  

Also, there are no targeting or assumptions on the grades of agricultural land that are considered. All the fields and farms can still be valuable.  
The Northumberland Woodland Creation Partnership has been formed to bring about an increase in the speed and extent of tree establishment across Northumberland. It is made up of around 15 organisations coming together. 

The partners include: DEFRA, Northumberland County Council, Forestry Commission, Natural England, the Woodland Trust, Northumberland National Park Authority, the Environment Agency, the Country Land and Business Association, Forestry England, the MOD, Confor, Northumberland CAN (Community Action Northumberland), the National Farmers' Union, and the Northumberland Wildlife Trust.  

The vision of the partnership is that a variety of different woodland types and woodland sizes can be created to suit local needs. This includes planting or encouraging natural regeneration of individual trees, orchards, agroforestry, and small community woodlands - to larger-scale schemes - that all bring together farming, forestry, biodiversity and recreation.  In some places there will be slow-growing native woodlands providing habitats for treasured wildlife. In other places there will be faster growing, productive woodland that will rapidly absorb carbon and produce timber.  

Our approach is guided by the principle of, "the right tree(s) in the right place, for the right reason, with the right management".  

There are important considerations in deciding where to site and how to shape new woodlands. These incude impacts on the local community, archaeological or heritage features, landscapes, and impacts on protected habitats or species.  

These are best considered on a site-biy-site basis to make sure that any scheme meets the UK Forestry Standard.  

Whether the land is owned or tenanted is also an important aspect to consider, but again this is something that can only be done on site.  

Woodland design has changed a lot since the monocultures of the past.  

The impact on nearby breeding waders, on peat soils and hydrology, on heritage features and on landscape are elements which particularly need a site by site approach.  There is a guide to help land managers when peat, vegetation or bird surveys are needed.  Specialist surveys may be needed where these features are on or near a proposed tree planting site.  Download the 30 page pdf from the gov.uk website.  

Even species selection is important.  Rather than first selecting a species and then trying to alter the site to suit, there are tools now to help select the species that are most ecologically suited to particular sites.  The user only has to input a grid reference and soil type.  For example, view the Ecological Site Classification system here (new page).  

No, our support and advice are free.  We want to work with communities, landowners and farmers to plant trees where they are needed the most.  We can provide free support and advice for the planning, funding and planting of tree projects of all sizes.  
Since 2019, over 716 hectares (2,278 acres) of woodland has been agreed or created. Which is more than 1,338 football fields!  During the current planting season (winter 2021-22) a further 1,038 hectares is being created (over 2,500 acres).  

Plus, over 150,000 individual trees in smaller schemes and a further 67,000 this planting season, giving a total of 217,263 individual trees in smaller schemes . This includes tree planting that has been funded in the following ways:
  • Countryside Stewardship, including hedges, standards, edges on arable land, wood pasture and tree planting for nature
  • The Woodland Carbon Fund and the Woodland Carbon Code schemes
  • Northumberland Wildlife Trust with the Kielderhead Wildwood project
  • The Woodland Trust's grant schemes (MOREWoods, MOREHedges, Trees for Schools & Communities and Trees for your Farm)
  • Northumberland County Council through initiatives like the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, the Local Authority Tree Fund and the Free Tree Scheme (15,000 free saplings for local residents and community groups).  Find out more about this here and watch a YouTube video of Ovington community replacing ash trees in their village!  
  • The three Rivers Trusts in the county, where the focus is particularly on tree establishment to improve water quality
  • Trees planted as part of planning applications and development
  • Private landowners self-funding small-scale tree planting
Follow this link to find out about the Climate Change team's work on the County Council's Free Tree giveaway and the Queen's Green Canopy.   

You can watch a YouTube video of Ovington village replacing ash trees in their village in winter 2021-22 as part of the Queen's Green Canopy here.  (4min, 38secs)
It is really hard for a tree to get established in the summer unless you are prepared to water it really regularly - otherwise there is up to a 70% chance it won't survive.  Up to six watering cans full every week in dry weather will be needed - are you prepared for this level of aftercare?  Large saplings (standards) should already have roots.  Roots can only grow and spread when they have enough moisture.  It also depends on how good the soil is.  Even with watering the young tree will be under stress.  Trees are normally planted in late autumn and winter when they are dormant and this gives them a better chance in spring. 

The Queen's Green Canopy allows people to celebrate the 70 years of the Queen's reign by planting any time to March 2023 - we would strongly encourage waiting until October onwards for your community group's tree planting.

Seven saplings are being planted at County Hall (one for each decade of the Queen's reign) in April 2022.  

Find out more about the Queen's Green Canopy and community groups and the work of the Climate Change team.  
Our contact details are above! We would be happy to hear from you with either questions or thoughts or requests for more information. 

We have a special email address: enquiries.forest@northumberland.gov.uk

Or you can phone 01670 623416 and request a call back. Please leave us there a voicemail with your name, number and a short message. A member of our team will call you back, usually within a week.  
Our GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) Privacy Statement for land managers interested in tree planting

How we handle your information
This Privacy Notice is designed to help you understand how Northumberland County Council as a registered Data Controller will handle your personal information. It will outline why we ask for your personal information, detail the information we hold, how it is used, shared and how long it is kept for. It will also detail how you can exercise your rights.

Why do we ask for your personal information? 
We use information about land managers interested in tree planting to keep track of the leads relating to tree planting in the county (with the aim of increasing the tree cover).  

What information do we hold? 
We only process the minimum personal information and special category (sensitive) information required to deliver the Great Northumberland Forest project.

The personal information we process includes:
● basic details about you: name, farm or site name, phone number, email address
● contact we have had with you, for example, conversations in the field or enquiries on the phone or on email.

We are not processing any sensitive personal information about you. 

How does the law allow us to use your personal information?
There are a number of legal reasons why we are allowed to collect and use your personal information. In order to process your personal data, you have given consent for us to use your personal information.  Our service in this case is about helping to increase the tree cover in the county.

How long do you keep my information for? 
We will only store your information for as long as is legally required or in situations where there is no legal retention period, they will follow established best practice. The retention for the Great Northumberland Forest project is currently until 2025.  For more information about the project you can visit our website https://nland.uk/GNF.

Who will you share my information with? 
We are not intending to share your personal information with others.  In some instances, we may share with internal council services.  

Can request a copy of my records? 
You can request what information Great Northumberland Forest holds about you. If you wish to see a copy of your records you should submit a Subject Access Request which is available through our website or by contacting the Information Governance Office. You are entitled to receive a copy of your records free of charge, within a month.

Do I have Other Rights? 
Data Protection law gives you the right: 

1. To be informed why, where, and how we use your information. 
2. To ask for access to your information
3. To ask for information to be corrected if inaccurate or incomplete. 
4. To ask for your information to be deleted or removed where there is no need for us to continue processing it. 
5. To ask us to restrict the use of your information. 
6. To ask us to copy or transfer your information from one IT system to another in a safe and secure way. 
7. To object to how your information is used. 
8. To challenge any decisions made without human intervention (automated decision making). 
9. To lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office 
10. If our processing is based upon your consent, to withdraw your consent. 
Further information
If you would like to know more about how we use your information, or if for any reason you do not wish to have your information used in any of the ways described in this notice, please tell us. Please contact enquiries.forest@northumberland.gov.uk or request a call back on 01670 623416.

Data Protection Officer: informationgovernance@northumberland.gov.uk

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office if you are unhappy with the way we process your data. Details can be found on the ICO website, or you may write to the ICO at the following address: 

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 
Email: casework@ico.org.uk