A new drive to encourage farmers and landowners across England to plant and manage more trees has been launched today (Tuesday, January 25).

With the Plant the Future, Put Down Roots campaign, the Forestry Commission and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are shedding light on the variety of grant schemes and free specialist advice available.

The campaign also highlights the benefits of tree planting, saying it offers opportunities to diversify, generate extra income, increase farm productivity and enhance your land – while complementing food production.

“These grants are available to help farmers and landowners grow and manage more trees as a profitable part of their overall business model, and I would encourage them to look at that support where they feel that it is the right choice for their business,” said Farming Minister Victoria Prentis.

“Trees and woodland play a vital role in protecting the planet and help mitigate the increasing threat of climate change and biodiversity loss,” said Forestry Commission chief executive Richard Stanford.

“Creating woods can be an excellent way to diversify farms, especially on marginal land – and there are exciting opportunities to grow and manage trees in a way that maximises the benefits they provide for climate, nature, people and the economy.

“As the government’s forestry experts, we continue to support farmers and landowners in finding ways to grow trees in a way which meets their individual needs and ambitions.

“I would strongly urge everyone considering woodland creation to look into this promotional drive, contact their local Woodland Creation Officer and start to put down roots, to see the tangible benefits which trees can bring to their business,” Stanford concluded.