WHILE money may not grow on trees, local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust has announced an initiative that could be the next best thing for landowners wishing to create new native woodlands.

It is making grant funding available to support tree planting projects in and around the Yorkshire Dales.

The aim is to significantly conserve, enhance or add to the natural heritage, be accessible to the general public or be clearly visible from a public right of way and supported by the local community.

Carol Douglas, YDMT woodland officer said: “Planting trees brings significant benefits to the landscape, environment and native wildlife species, as well as offering long term income potential for landowners.

"As the winter tree planting season fast approaches, we are delighted to be able to provide the finances and the expertise to help make new woodland projects possible.

"I’m keen to hear from landowners across the region that may be interested in working with us to create new native woodlands of any size.”

The woodland grants are made possible thanks to support from The Fuelcard Company which is based in Knaresborough and is one of the UK’s largest commercial fuel card resellers.

They have supported the work of YDMT since 2011 as part of their commitment to the environment and in that time have donated more than £750,000 to the charity.

Following a recent donation of £81,736, Richard Brown, Commercial Director at The Fuelcard Company, said: “Over the last six years we’ve been working with YDMT to offer our EcoPoint customers an opportunity to contribute to their Corporate Social Responsibility targets and offset their carbon footprint.

"It’s a pleasure to be able to help YDMT to deliver significant long term improvements to the landscape and natural habitat of the Dales, whilst helping our customers to minimise their impact on the environment.”

Working in partnership with landowners, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission, YDMT has helped to plant around 1.3 million new native trees across the region since 1997.

Last winter saw the charity plant 42,000 native saplings to create 17 new woodlands covering a combined area of 86 acres.

Crummack Pasture near Austwick was the smallest of these new woodlands, covering just 1 acre. Despite its modest size, it still has the potential to make a big impact in Crummackdale – an area with very little woodland cover.

Over time the trees will absorb carbon dioxide and grow to support a range of native flora and fauna species, and the public footpath through the site will allow people to enjoy exploring the woodland as it develops.

YDMT has planted around 1.3 million native broadleaf trees so far through the Dales Woodland Restoration Programme and it has recruited over 50,000 supporters to date.

It has helped to deliver over 1,900 projects worth around £27million in the Yorkshire Dales and surrounding areas.

Landowners wishing to find out more about the woodland creation grants and the support available should contact Carol Douglas at YDMT on carol.douglas@ydmt.org or call 015242 51002.

The next closing date for funding applications is December 5 2016, with other application windows to follow.