Planting of the largest planned new productive forest in England in the last 25 years got under way at Doddington North Moor on Friday.
Year 5 pupils from Glendale Middle School helped Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan in planting the first of 600,000 trees on the site.
Teacher Jennie Dunn said: “As the first generation that will mature with the forest and the first generation to enjoy the principle benefits of the new Doddington North Woodland, Glendale Middle students felt a sense of responsibilty and connection to their local community in becoming involved in this hard-fought battle to produce this fantastic new natural asset.”
The project has been made possible thanks to the support provided by Durham-based Forest Carbon, via investment in the carbon dioxide that will be captured by the forest – likely to be 92,670 tonnes over 65 years.
Forest Carbon turns this capture into carbon credits for businesses taking voluntary action on their own carbon footprint. Without investment in carbon credits, the woodland would not be able to proceed.
The first carbon credits at Doddington will be bought by Allstar, on behalf of businesses using its EcoPoint fuel cards. The carbon credits are available after certification under the UK Government’s Woodland Carbon Code.
Doddington North Forest will cover an area of around 350 hectares, with 268 hectares to be planted – 42 per cent conifer, 20 per cent native broadleaf, 13 per cent mixed Scots pine and native broadleaf. Of the unplanted area, around half is open ground and half managed priority habitat. The site also includes footpaths, bridleways, and water courses.
Doddington North is productive and will be managed on a continuous cover basis with selective thinning providing commercial timber.
Stephen Prior, of Forest Carbon, said: “Forest Carbon is the UK leader in this field and I am pleased to say that the work we do with our partners is becoming more central to government thinking, with a UK carbon offset programme highlighted in its recently-published 25 Year Environment Plan. New woodlands can play an important role such a scheme – providing as they do cost effective carbon emissions reductions alongside so many other benefits.”