Dr Luke welcomes multi-million-pound boost for tree planting scheme which could help see National Forest ambition fulfilled

Land managers in Bosworth are being encouraged to get involved in a multi-million-pound government-backed scheme to see more tree planting as part of a woodland creation scheme.

The Forestry Commission has announced that £10m will be available in the second auction of the Woodland Carbon Guarantee.

Those who want to get involved need to sign up to the scheme by 5 June, ahead of the next auction which will take place online from 8 to 19 June.

Launched in November 2019, the Woodland Carbon Guarantee is a £50 million scheme that aims to help accelerate woodland planting rates and permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Successful participants will be offered the option to sell Woodland Carbon Units to the government over 35 years at a guaranteed price set by auction and protected against inflation, providing new income for land managers who help businesses compensate for their carbon emissions.

This announcement follows the success of the first auction which closed in February 2020 and saw 18 contracts offered by the Forestry Commission to help stimulate the creation of 182 hectares of new woodland, specifically to help combat climate change.

Speaking about the scheme, Dr Luke Evans, the MP for Bosworth, said: “Encouraging the planting of more trees to create new woods is not only good for our fantastic wildlife, it also helps the atmosphere. We have some amazing countryside here in Hinckley and Bosworth and I would encourage land owners to get involved with this scheme, which will benefit everyone.”

Dr Luke also points out that take up of the scheme would help to make the case for the Borough becoming part of the National Forest: “The National Forest is a major success story for the environmental regeneration of the East Midlands, especially areas of heavy industry. There are parts of the Borough which could benefit from an extension to the National Forest.”

Cllr Richard Allen, Leader of the Conservative Group on Hinckley and Bosworth Council added: “At this time of worldwide climate emergency we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to help our environment on our own doorstep. Hinckley and Bosworth could benefit greatly from becoming a part of the National Forest and land owners signing up to the woodland carbon guarantee is just one way of delivering that.”

The Hinckley and Bosworth Conservative Group will table a motion at the next meeting of the Borough Council calling for cross-party support to lobby for the borough’s admission into the National Forest.