Community Tree Scheme back open for business!
We’re pleased to announce that our Community Tree Scheme, in conjunction with Defra’s Trees Outside Woods Project, is running once again, supplying transplant trees and hedgerow stock for planting during the coming season (autumn/winter 2021/22).
We’re focusing on planting groups of native trees and shrubs as copses and small areas of woodland, to maximise the benefits for landscape and wildlife around the county. There will also be the option of planting small amounts of native hedgerow, either to ‘gap up’ existing hedgerows or to create short lengths of new ones where this improves habitat continuity or connectivity. The planted trees and hedges will also ‘lock up’ carbon and provide other environmental benefits as they grow and mature, contributing in their own small way towards our ambition of making Shropshire net zero carbon by 2030.
Under this year’s scheme, the trees are being provided in pre-arranged species mixes under options covering three broad types of planting situations commonly encountered around the county:
Woodland for general ‘lowland’ planting sites
English oak (20%), sessile oak (20%), small-leaved lime (20%), wild cherry (10%), hazel (15%), hawthorn (5%), crab apple (5%) and dogwood (5%)
Woodland for ‘upland’/exposed sites
Sessile oak (50%), silver birch (20%), beech (10%), hawthorn (10%), crab apple (5%) and blackthorn (5%)
Woodland for damp/poorly drained sites
Common alder (35%), downy birch (20%), crack willow (10%), goat willow (10%), aspen (10%), osier (5%), hazel (5%) and alder buckthorn (5%)
There’s also a hedging option…
Native hedgerow mix
Hawthorn (35%), field maple (20%), blackthorn (15%), hazel (15%), dog rose (5%), dogwood (5%) and wild privet (5%)
All planting stock will be sourced and grown within the UK.
Applying for the scheme
Applications are invited from people who wish to plant trees and short sections of hedging, and to create small areas of woodland in Shropshire. The planting must be fully visible to the public, if not directly accessible, not within a private garden and outside of an existing woodland, and should support the objectives of enhancing landscape and wildlife values. Please note that we can’t supply trees where planting is required by law or other obligation, for example to comply with a condition attached to a planning permission, or to replace trees unlawfully removed.
We’ll be happy to provide trees to anyone wishing to take part in this year’s Queen’s Green Canopy Project as long as your planting is in line with our goals and conditions regarding landscape and habitat enhancement.
Applications can be made online for multiples of bundles of 20 trees or hedgerow transplants, based on the three woodland options and one hedgerow option described above, up to a maximum of 200 trees and shrubs (ie ten bundles) per applicant. Please note that the hedgerow mix has been capped at a maximum of five bundles per customer.
The application form contains an interactive map to show where you propose to plant your trees. It’s crucial to avoid important or fragile habitats that could be damaged by inappropriate tree planting. For example, trees planted on species-rich grassland, and other habitats that need lots of sun, will shade out the plants of interest and lead to an overall loss of biodiversity. There have been examples of this in Shropshire and recent high profile examples elsewhere of planted trees having to be ripped out.
Also, please make sure that you’re planting in an appropriate location generally, where the trees are suited to the soil and site characteristics, where they won’t come into conflict with any nearby structures or features, and where they’re not at risk of damage from livestock or other animals, or, for example, mechanised mowing regimes. Please also be prepared to undertake maintenance of your trees during the first few years after planting – for example weeding and watering during the summer months.
We’ve included in our form links to interactive maps for you to check, which provide details and the locations of some important habitats within the county. Please ensure that the trees you’re planting won’t harm existing habitats.
Successful applicants will be notified and invited to contact the nursery partnering us in the delivery of this year’s scheme, Prees Heath Forest Nursery, to arrange collection of their trees. The nursery is located at Higher Heath in the north of the county, but if more convenient applicants can opt to collect their trees from John Holliday (formerly Potters Farm Tree Nursery), at Lower Hayton, north of Ludlow. as an alternative location in the south of the county.
(Note that applicants must be able to collect their trees from either Prees Heath Forest Nursery or from John Holliday. Please don’t apply if you’re not willing or are unable to collect your trees from one or other of these locations).
Successful applicants must be willing for the locations and planting details of their trees to be shown on an interactive map of Shropshire, to provide a permanent and growing record (forgive the pun) of where trees have been planted around the county. Personal identifying details won’t be revealed on the map, although we’ll need your contact details to correspond with you regarding the scheme.
As part of the requirements for this project we’ll need to inspect a proportion of planted trees to ensure that our criteria have been met and assess the success of the planting. We’ll give a suitable notice period to inspect the trees and will work with the landowner/tenant to agree a suitable date.
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