LINCOLNSHIRE’S leafy network of trees and hedges is being added to through Lincolnshire County Council’s Hedge and Small Woodland Grant scheme.
This winter, it will award 27 grants, equating to five km of new hedges and one hectare of small woodlands. The county council provides a 50 per cent grant - up to a maximum of £1000 - towards the cost of trees and protection.
One scheme to benefit from the funding will be the creation of 100m of hedge including a mixture of native species such as hawthorn, blackthorn, wild rose and hazel, and a small woodland on land owned by John and Julie Woolley near Ingham.
John Woolley said, “We want to plant new trees and hedges to attract wildlife, birds and mammals, and to provide a habitat for insects. Planting an area of woodland would be a fitting epitaph for anyone, and hopefully future generations of our family will be told, ‘your grandmother/father, or great grandmother/father planted those’.”
The county council runs the grant scheme to address a dramatic decline of hedgerows in the UK – particularly in Eastern England – since 1945. According to the Lincolnshire Biodiversity Plan 2005, there has been a nationwide net loss of 21-27 per cent of hedgerows between 1984 and 1990.
This is supported by a county council study which compared field boundaries on aerial photographs between 1971/2 and 1993/4.
It found that some areas of Lincolnshire have lost more than 100m per square km of hedge – up to a quarter of the total length.
Grants are being awarded across Lincolnshire, with 10 schemes in East Lindsey, five in Boston, five in South Holland, four in West Lindsey and three in North Kesteven.
Executive Councillor Eddy Poll said: “I’m delighted that more than 25,500 trees will be planted this year as a result of our Hedge and Small Woodland Grant scheme. This is a huge number of new trees across the county and a real achievement. It will continue to make a significant and noticeable improvement to our landscape and wildlife, as the scheme has already done for a number of years.”
Matthew Davey, Lincolnshire County Council’s environment and community project officer, added: “Every scheme has been checked by us to make sure the types of tree used are carefully matched to the soil conditions and location. This gives the trees the best chance of success. We also make sure that all the trees and shrubs are characteristic or native to Lincolnshire and therefore support a wide range of insects, mammals and birds.”
The 2012/13 grant is now open to anyone who owns or manages land within the county of Lincolnshire. For guidance on eligibility, or for a free advisory visit on applying, contact Environmental Management at Lincolnshire County Council on 01522 552349 or visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/hedgesandwoodlandgrant