Farming Talk – January 13
The new Government pledged in its manifesto to plant 30 million trees per year over the UK.
With such large numbers being discussed it is difficult to get one's head around what the implementation of this would look like.
To put this into context, 56 per cent of UK’s land area is farmland and 34 per cent is existing “nature land” moor, heath and forestry totalling an approximate area of 53 million acres. If you assume the nature land is already planted or sequestering carbon, that leaves 30 million acres of farmland remaining capable of being planted.
That equates to one tree per acre per annum. To look at it another way, it is half of the population in the UK planting one tree a year. This certainly does not seem impossible.
However with tree diseases as well as an ever-increasing population, housing and food production continue to increase the pressure on land use in the UK.
Co-ordinated and long term thinking and ensuring any tree planting is in an appropriate location will be key. Landowners should think carefully about how trees can be used to minimise both their carbon footprints as well as those of companies potentially looking to offset emissions.
Frances Steer, Land Agent and Associate Partner, Balfours.
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