Plans to create new woods and forests in South Yorkshire have been awarded £469,000 in funding.

The cash awarded to Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust comes from the national £6m Trees Call to Action Fund.

Woodland Creation Partnership aims to create more than 250 hectares, which equals 350 football pitches, of new woodland in South Yorkshire by 2025.

The tree fund is led by Defra, the Forestry Commission and the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Matt North from the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust said the grant was “fantastic news”.

“The South Yorkshire Woodland Creation Partnership project has proven a demand for well-designed woodland resilient to climate change and diseases, and which will provide benefits for people and wildlife now and in the future,” he said.

“This funding will provide a huge boost to help us support landowners to overcome barriers in woodland creation.”

The Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Councils will all work in partnership with Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trusts on the initiative.

And the target is for a further 2,650 hectares of new woodland in the region by 2050, which the Trees Call to Action Fund said was equivalent to 3,711 football pitches.

Mr North said it means more staff to plan a further 12% of new woodland cover for the area by 2050.

“Increasing our tree coverage is vital for several reasons, not least that it will contribute to net-zero carbon emission targets and assist with addressing the climate and nature emergencies,” he said.

“Well-designed woodlands help us cope with climate change by reducing flooding and improving both air and water quality.”

By 4difm

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