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Leicestershire council scheme plants new woodlands
Around 3,720 trees are expected to be planted as part of the WIMBY scheme

Leicestershire County Council has been planting trees in a bid to increase woodland coverage across the county.

The Woodlands In My Backyard (WIMBY) scheme helps fund proposals for planting on public or private land, which will benefit the community.

The project aims to plant an area the size of six and a half football pitches of new woodlands across Leicestershire.

Andy Jackson from Stepping Stones said a good sized planting scheme "will really make a difference locally."

He believes it should take as few as 10 years to see a noticeable change in the county's woodlands and only 20 years before people would be able to see a "proper wood".

Stepping Stones, a project funded by a number of local councils, has teamed up with conservation charity The Woodland Trust to award grants to groups or individuals who would like to create their own WIMBY.

Theddingworth near Market Harborough: 1,000 trees over two acres
The Pastures in Narborough: over 300 trees and nearly 250m of hedges
Manor Farm in Burton Overy: over 100m of hedging on private land
Bracknell Farm in Thurlaston: 1,500 trees over almost four acres

The new areas of woodland will mainly be planted with native tree species, including ash, oak and cherry.

Andy has worked on a number of different sites with the project, which has included the development of green space with private landowners.

Farmer Craig Langton from Burton Overy has helped plant trees with the council for 20 years and worked with Andy since he was approached by him five years ago.

Manor Farm received a grant for 600 trees and 800 hedging plants, which took around four days for his team to plant.

Craig is enthusiastic about the benefits of the scheme and stressed the importance of private landowners working together with conservation bodies.

A number of other WIMBYs are currently in the process of being planted or are due to be planted in March 2011.

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