The Government is to invest £30 million to support the planting of 2,000 hectares of new woodland.
North Cornwall MP and Minister for Forestry, Dan Rogerson said the funding will help maintain important woodland sites and will support the planting of new trees this year in places like Treworder Farm, a 17 hectare site just east of Wadebridge.
Two hundred thousand hectares of existing woodland will also be protected or improved as part of the investment. Mr Rogerson said it will support landowners - including charities, local authorities and businesses - in their commitment to planting and maintaining the country's woodland.
Mr Rogerson said: “Forests are a cherished national resource, which provide precious habitats for wildlife and natural spaces for generations to enjoy. Planting four million trees over the coming year will help us to extend woodland cover across the country which will benefit wildlife, improve the environment and help grow the economy.’’
This investment will be split between £6 million on new planting in 2014/15 and £24 million on woodland management, including maintaining the benefits of past woodland creation projects.
Many of the trees planted this year will grow for up to 60 years before being sustainably felled for timber and all will be managed long-term for nature. Trees also provide myriad environmental benefits, including supporting climate change adaptation and clean water initiatives, and protecting land against floods.
From 2015, the new Rural Development Programme will look to further fund the creation and maintenance of woodland.
Mr Rogerson is planning tree planting grants from 2015, with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Forestry Commission working closely with interested parties on what this could involve.