A new conservation project will receive half a million pounds to increase woodland creation in Cumbria.
Woodland Futures is a partnership project being delivered by the Lake District Foundation and Cumbria Woodlands.
It will receive £499,800 from the Trees Call to Action Fund.
Woodland Futures is one of 12 taking place nationwide that has been awarded a grant from the £6 million Trees Call to Action Fund, led by Defra, the Forestry Commission and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Woodland Futures will run for three years until March 2025. It aims to increase woodland creation and bring existing woodlands into management to ensure they have a bright future.
The project will connect those that own and manage land. It will provide advice, information, training, and coordination between different organisations all with the goal of supporting woodlands across Cumbria.
Several new roles will be created. Staff will be employed by The Lake District Foundation and managed by Cumbria Woodlands.
The Trees Call to Action Fund supports projects which protect trees and woodlands, boost forestry skills and jobs, develop woodland creation partnerships, and engage communities with nature. The fund will distribute grants between £250,000-500,000 to be spent over three years, funding 12 projects across England.
Neville Elstone, Director Cumbria Woodlands, said: “This is a hugely exciting project. Cumbria Woodlands has been encouraging, supporting and advising landowners for over 30 years. Woodland Futures allows us to continue to do this vital work while engaging new audiences and helping to secure the future of woodlands in Cumbria.”
Sarah Swindley, Chief Executive Lake District Foundation, said: “This funding is a fantastic boost to woodlands in Cumbria. Woodland Futures will develop partnerships with the common goal of protecting our woodlands and creating a better future for them.
“It also extremely timely as this new project comes off the back of severe winter storms which have damaged woodlands and hedgerows across Cumbria.”
The other projects funded through this year’s Trees Call to Action Fund include six new Woodland Creation Partnerships across rural and urban areas; two projects to develop the skills and workforce of the trees and forestry sector; and three projects which engage people, by planting an NHS forest, engaging farmers to improve woodland condition, and restoring England’s hedgerows.
All projects funded will support progress towards achieving the key objectives of the England Trees Action Plan – the Government’s long-term plans for England’s trees, woodlands and forests.
Find out more about Cumbria Woodlands.