The Woodland Trust is offering increased support to help farmers and landowners to plant trees, with more funding now available for a wider range of planting projects.
The Trust already offers free expert advice and funding for the creation of new woodland, and is now offering assistance for the planting of new hedgerows to connect existing woodland.
In addition, the conservation charity can fund up to 60 per cent of the cost of trees and tree guards, with planting at an increased density of up to 1,600 trees per hectare.
Gregor Fulton, operations manager with the Woodland Trust, said: “With current uncertainty surrounding government funding for tree planting, we’re putting extra resources and energy into helping people to create woods and hedges on their land.
“Here in Northern Ireland, we know we’re far behind our European neighbours in the woodland stakes. We have just 8 per cent woodland cover compared to the European average of 44 per cent.
“We know exactly what benefits trees can bring in terms of natural flood defences, homes for wildlife, a source of sustainable fuel, and natural fencing and shelter. For these reasons and more, we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for landowners to get planting.”