Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Sunday, 1 November 2009

Woodland boost after land appeal

About 200 acres (80 hectares) of woodland is to be planted in the Yorkshire Dales National Park after a huge response to an appeal for land.

In May, the Dales National Park Authority offered landowners cash to plant more native broadleaved woodland.

More than 20 landowners have so far volunteered for the scheme and planting starts this month.

The authority said this would make "significant improvements in terms of the habitat, landscape and wildlife".

The target is to plant the 80 hectares by the end of the 2009/10 planting season, which runs between October and March.

This year the authority has £20,000 to manage existing woodland and new planting grants, but hopes to have a significant increase in the amount of money available in the next financial year.

Ancient woodland

William Lambert, who is planting a broadleaved woodland near Bainbridge, said: "I had an area of land that was of little agricultural use and, year after year, it seemed to be wasted.

"A footpath went through it and I thought it would make the area more useful and attractive to wildlife if it was a woodland.

"With the state of farming as it is now, I couldn't afford to do it on my own so the grant has made it happen."

The authority's senior trees and woodland officer, Geoff Garrett, said: "We picked some ancient woodlands within the national park that were grouped together and made it a priority to plant new areas between them to link them all.

"This strategy aims to combat the long-term effect of climate change by creating a network of corridors linked to each other and to other habitats like grassland and meadows that provide a natural way for wildlife to move around."

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