Tree sales are reportedly booming, thanks to landowners taking advantage of the Forestry Commission‘s Woodland Creation Grants. There are three levels of grant, the highest being £4,800 per hectare, plus £300 per year per hectare for 15 years.

This is for broadleaved woodland that meets the criteria of delivering biodiversity, productivity and recreation and reducing flood risk and soil erosion. The grants end on December 31 of this year, although Defra is negotiating another round of payments for 2014. To apply, visit www.forestry.gov.uk or telephone 0117-906 6000.

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The Woodland Trust has received backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its appeal to restore 52,000 hectares (about 128,500 acres) of ancient woodlands. The charity plans to work with 1,000 landowners in preventing woods from being replanted with conifers and needs to raise £530,000 (www.woodlandtrust.org.uk).

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* Woodland picture from www.somerset.gov.uk