Woods get grant boost

A NEW grant scheme has been launched that could help to boost Northumberland’s woods and its green economy.

The initiative by the Forestry Commission will make it easier for landowners to harvest timber for woodfuel by improving access for felling equipment.

The organisation says that a number of privately-owned North East woodlands are under-managed and one of the main reasons is the high cost of extracting timber, especially in remote woods where roadways can be poor or non-existent.

This new support will make harvesting more economically attractive by widening gateways, building access roads and helping with marketing timber.

Ian Everard from the Forestry Commission said: “The woodfuel market is booming, driven by the high cost of fossil fuels and the Government’s renewable heating incentives.

“To meet this demand we need to act to improve timber supply within the region.

“In many ways, woodlands are our biggest untapped resource and good husbandry will also enhance wildlife habitats.”

For more information about the scheme, telephone 01669 621591 or visit www.forestry.gov.uk/northeastengland