Woods for the Shires

Our Flagship project

The Woods for the Shires scheme, set up by WFTT Org CIC, aims to plant at least one acre – preferably more – of bare land with trees in every historic county of England over the next five years.  Land offered to the project will remain in its existing ownership.  The owner/agent of the land will sign a 25-year covenant that protects the land from a change in land use for the period of the covenant.  It will also provide for community volunteers to plant and manage the land as primarily native British woodland during that time; and ensure permissive access to the plantation for amenity and education.  WftT engages to help recruit and set up a volunteer planting and management group for each wood.  Land parcels can be greater than 1 acre (0.4ha).  One acre is 65 yards by 65 yards.  There is a suggested size limit of 2 ha (5 acres) in an area designated ‘low risk’ for tree planting, because above that the scheme would need planning permission; but no limit to the number of new Woods for the Shires to be planted in each county.

Each wood will bear signage including the name of the wood and the historic county badge and name, as well as the badge of WftT and a Woods for the Shires logo.  Every wood will serve as an exemplar for community woodland engagement and management and for the establishment of native woodlands.  Each will act as a focus for local community action on ecology and habitat creation and as a resource for teaching people about trees and about the value of traditional woodland management.

WftT aims to recruit Woods for the Shires “Branch Managers” in every historic shire.  Branch Managers will be given training, a resource pack, support and advice for generating schemes in their shire.

You can find out more about becoming a Branch Manager here.

WftT is actively looking for landowning partners in each county.  Owner and volunteer contributions will be openly acknowledged on the WftT website and other media outlets (unless otherwise requested).

Please contact us if you would like to be a landowning partner, or become a Woods for the Shires Branch Manager.

We aim to secure the funding to help set the scheme up from the new Nature Recovery Network Programme: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nature-recovery-network/nature-recovery-network.  Our support pack will include a resources and planning booklet and advice on how to recruit and run a tree planting project in your area.