Zero Carbon Cumbria - Carbon reduction action across the county.


On-farm tree planting shows improvements in productivity

A Cumbrian case study and expert speakers demonstrate how tree planting can improve the productivity and biodiversity of agricultural land, and how woodland can contribute to the balance of carbon emissions.

As part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria project, CAfS have organised a series of webinars looking at the county’s natural assets and their significance in the fight against climate change.

The first event, held earlier this month, focussed on trees and woodland, with five expert speakers who galloped through a packed hour-long agenda. Copeland Borough Council’s Open Spaces Manager, Emmanuel Flecken gave the local authority perspective on areas used primarily for leisure, and Jodie West from Cumbria Rivers Trust talked about Walkmill Community Woodland near Whitehaven, and the multiple benefits of community-run woodlands.

The takeaway message from the event was how woodland could be planted in harmony with productive agricultural land, and Ian Banks, a farmer from Hallbankgate talked passionately about the improvements to productivity and biodiversity he had seen to his own farm from the trees he had planted over the last twenty years. He shared details of how he had planted 30 acres of woodland in pockets of unproductive areas of land, and noted how he had inadvertently rewilded, without rewilding! This was backed up by the NFU’s Environment and Land Use Adviser, Adam Briggs, and Neville Elstone, Director of Cumbria Woodlands, who both commented on the concern over the extremes of re-wilding versus industrial forestry and the loss of productive agricultural land, and stressed the need for middle-ground in terms of land-use policy.

A recording of the event is on CAfS’ YouTube channel. Watch it now >

Three more webinars are scheduled for 2023 on peatlands, rivers and hedgerows.  See details and book your free place >

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