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Frequently Asked Questions

Have any questions? Take a look at our FAQ's below

You can also download the Forest for Cornwall FAQ sheet for reference

Do you have bare root trees that you are unable to plant this spring? Advice on how to look after your trees until the autumn planting season.

Forest for Cornwall is an ambitious project. It aims to establish trees and woodlands which will contribute to our Carbon Neutral by 2030 challenge. Through our shared work for the Forest for Cornwall, approximately 8,000 hectares of more canopy cover will be created.  This is about 2% of Cornwall’s land area.

The Forest for Cornwall is not a single area of new forest. It includes:

  • hedgerows
  • woodlands
  • orchards
  • gardens and
  • parks

It’s our ambition to strengthen the protection of our existing trees, hedges and woodlands. Whilst also increasing their number.

Forest for Cornwall is being delivered through:

  • partnerships
  • communities
  • individuals
  • private and public sector projects

Individual projects will vary in scale. They will all have the common aim of increasing canopy cover throughout Cornwall. The projects evolve over time.  Those who planted trees last winter – will now, be looking after those trees through watering and weeding.  This is to make sure they successfully grow through this year and beyond.

The phrase ‘canopy cover’ describes the area of leaves, branches and stems of trees covering the ground if viewed from above. This will also include vegetation such as:

  • hedges and hedgerows
  • individual trees
  • copses
  • woodland
  • forests

The Forest for Cornwall includes:

  • individual trees
  • trees in copses
  • woods
  • farmland
  • sustainable commercial forestry
  • orchards
  • street trees
  • public parks, gardens and open spaces

It also includes the many ancient or veteran trees in parkland. It may also include arboretums (‘museums’ or exhibitions of trees). Which contain ornamental, landscape and protected trees.

Woodland cover in Cornwall is 9-10% compared to a UK average of 13% and 37% in Europe. This statistic does not include smaller stands of trees or trees on hedges. Forest for Cornwall aims to establish a more accurate local figure with maps of canopy cover for every parish. Please use the contact us form, if you wish to get a map of your Parish.

We know there are also 30,000 miles of hedges covering approximately 1% of Cornwall. Thanks to the work of our local Environmental Records Centre.

Compared to much of the rest of England, tree cover in Cornwall is relatively low. Once covered in low lying wood pasture, there has been a dramatic decline. This is particularly true for boundary trees and orchards over the last 100 years. Nowadays, many woodlands in Cornwall are in small isolated pockets. Hedges have often been removed to enable crops to be grown on land that can be worked by larger machinery.

Trees and natural boundaries have also been removed to allow for roads and other infrastructure. Our existing trees and hedges are under increasing threat from:

  • development
  • agricultural practices
  • climate change
  • pests
  • disease
  • other factors

We need to carefully consider how we address and counter these threats in light of the many benefits that trees offer us.

The Forest for Cornwall will always seek to support ‘the right trees in the right places for the right purposes”. In addition to several large areas of woodland and forests, there will be many smaller copses and individual trees. These will be connected by hedgerow ‘corridors’.  As well as trees along rivers, trails and cycle routes and in our urban streets.

We will help to identify some potential larger planting sites by using the best available local information. For example, we have developed a mapping tool www.lagas.co.uk. This has been developed in partnership with the

  • University of Exeter
  • Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

This mapping tool helps to guide those interested in planting.

We are also preparing a planting guidance. Forest for Cornwall will aim to support tree and woodland creation by:

  • landowners and managers
  • businesses
  • individuals
  • community groups

We can all contribute to this ambition.  We will do our best to offer support through information, guidance and where possible through funding.

If you are considering planting trees we ask that you take into account existing:

  • environmental
  • heritage and
  • landscape designations

As well as features and uses of the land. Your plans should aim not to negatively affect the current surroundings.

Cornwall Council adopted an Environmental Growth Strategy in 2016.  It started work with stakeholders to develop an action plan for trees, woodlands and hedges. This is reflected in the Forest for Cornwall programme.

Cornwall Councillors met at Full Council on the 22 January 2019 to debate how to tackle climate change. Councillors voted to support the declaration of a climate change emergency. The declaration required the Council to prepare a plan outlining how Cornwall can:

  • reduce carbon emissions
  • work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030

The Climate Change Action Plan was approved in July 2019. It identified a flagship natural climate solution project: The Forest for Cornwall.

Habitats vary in their ability to naturally ‘draw down’ and store carbon dioxide. Trees and woodlands perform the best on land. In addition, they provide many other benefits which make them a focus for our efforts.

The Forest for Cornwall was conceived by Cornwall Council. The first phase from 2019 to 2021 will be funded and coordinated by Cornwall Council. This phase aims to start the longer-term partnership programme.

Participation and partnership are central to the ambitious aims of the Forest for Cornwall. The success of the project will depend on this. Current partners include:

  • the Local Nature Partnership
  • landowners (from estates to smallholdings)
  • the forestry and woodland sector
  • Government bodies
  • our Town and Parish Councils
  • many environmental charities such as the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust, Tree Council
  • the NHS
  • private utilities
  • our local businesses
  • schools
  • colleges
  • communities and
  • our individual actions

Many have already been involved in growing our Forest for Cornwall. We would like to feature more on our webpage each month. We aim to motivate everyone to look after the trees that they already have. As well as act to establish more trees on their own land, and in the local community.

Please contact us if you want to get involved or have an idea. However large or small.

We will be looking at what we can do with Cornwall Council land. However, we would encourage you to look first at the land within your or your communities control, which may benefit from:

  • more trees
  • a woodland or
  • hedges

Forest for Cornwall will be a large-scale programme to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A process known as sequestration. It will be achieved through woodland and tree planting, regeneration and rewilding. The initial target aims to cover approximately 8,000 hectares, or about 2% of Cornwall’s land area by 2030. This figure will be refined during the first few years of the Forest for Cornwall programme as new baseline information becomes available.

We aim to meet the Forest for Cornwall target by 2030. This matches with the overall Cornwall Climate Action Plan and our ambition for carbon neutrality by 2030.

Calculations using the Woodland Carbon Code suggest that an 8,000 hectare forest will capture 38,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year. It will also remove upwards of 1% of Cornwall’s greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is just one of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

There will be a wide range of tree planting in keeping with ‘the right trees in the right places’ principle. Trees chosen will include species native to Cornwall today.  As well as from the historic records, alongside non-native species. We will also plant to reflect our changing climate as we plan for a warmer Cornwall with increased extreme weather events. Additionally, planting will consider our needs and the objectives of the landowners. It will also take into account the challenges of pests and diseases such as Ash Dieback.

Forest for Cornwall can’t and does not wish to prescribe what type of species should be planted (this is about an increase in canopy cover). Our aim is to enable an increase in the benefits that we gain from woodlands and trees.

We hope to see more trees being grown in Cornwall as the local tree supply chain develops.  However trees should be UK grown where possible. This will help prevent the spread of disease from imported live plants.  As well as maximise economic outcomes for local businesses who grow trees suited to our situation.  For example we have salt laden winds in many areas and young trees grown for these conditions will be more likely to thrive.

The large scale of the forest and the numbers we need to plant each year mean that we need to start growing the trees now to support future demand. Cornwall Council is starting to work with local businesses, communities and landowners to establish:

  • new local tree supplies
  • seed propagation
  • sapling exchange schemes

It is likely that trees will also need to come from other approved sources to meet the demand.  Especially in the early stages of the programme. When you are considering tree or woodland establishment please think carefully about where you get your trees from. There is increasing awareness of the risks of getting the ‘wrong planting stock’ which may inadvertently carry disease. Many are trying to reduce these risks through initiatives such as, the UK Plant Health Management Standard. Individual nurseries can sign up to www.planthealthy.org.uk. When sourcing your trees, it is worth asking if your nursery is signed up to this. Or considering it (it was only introduced recently). The Woodland Trust also have a list of nurseries that supply UK sourced and grown trees. You can find this on the Woodland Trust website.

View a list of local nurseries which you may be able to purchase trees locally.  Including for example local apple tree varieties. If you are a local nursery business and you would like to be included on the list, please contact us.

Forest for Cornwall aims to adopt environmental best practise for tree establishment. Where it is within the direct control of Cornwall Council our strong preference will be to avoid or minimise the use of plastic tree tubes. We will also explore how these can be eliminated or more sustainable products can be developed. The strong preference will be to avoid or minimise the use of chemicals. We will encourage others to follow the approach wherever they can.

The Forest for Cornwall programme will not directly supply trees for planting projects. However it will aim to work with local and national partners to increase access to trees.

Any trees planted in Cornwall since 1 September 2019, anywhere and by anyone can count towards the Forest for Cornwall. The only condition is that they do not form part of a legal planning requirement.

Let us know how many trees you have planted using the Contact Form. We would like to recognise your contribution. Please take a minute to keep us informed. Thank you!

Any trees planted in Cornwall since 1 September 2019, anywhere and by anyone can count towards the Forest for Cornwall. The only condition is that they do not form part of a legal planning requirement. The Forest for Cornwall has to deliver a net gain in canopy cover over and above any replacement of lost trees.

Please get in touch via the online contact form to let us know about any trees which you are happy to be counted towards the Forest for Cornwall. The form only takes a couple of minutes to complete. Thank you!

The Forest for Cornwall is a new programme. We are developing a range of initiatives with partners to enable residents, landowners, schools and communities to take part. Please keep an eye on our website for more information: http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/forestforcornwall/.

At the moment, everyone can get involved in the following ways:

There are many guides to tree planting to help you with small projects and you may find advice locally. For example, if there is a tree warden in your local area or someone with experience of tree planting already.

In addition, we aim to signpost good advice and where necessary develop or adapt advice for those planting in Cornwall.

If you are undertaking a larger project, then you should consider seeking professional advice. There are a number of individuals or companies who can assist with this. Each company or individual will have particular strengths or interests. It is worth speaking to a number to find out who can best support your particular needs.

We will also aim to provide a limited resource of professional expertise that can help to start to form ideas. However we aim to not compete with those already out and earning a living through their advice. Any advice provided will be limited.

Please get in touch with us via the online contact form, if you wish to:

  • share with us a planting idea
  • offer your land for planting
  • offer to volunteer your skills or time

Make sure that you share as much information as possible in order for us to understand your needs. The form only takes several minutes to complete.

To start with, we would advise you to get in touch with your Town and Parish Council. Or environmental groups active in your area that may run planting projects closer to your home.

At the same time, we will regularly publish planting projects in need of volunteers on our what's happening page or via our newsletter.  Please check it regularly.

Our recommendation will be for you to first find land available within your community either private or Town/Parish owned. The Forest for Cornwall team is already looking for planting opportunities on Council properties.  They will engage with communities in our larger schemes (e.g. Trees for Cornish Towns Project).

Yes, any trees planted in Cornwall since 1 September 2019, anywhere and by anyone can count towards the Forest for Cornwall. The only condition is that they do not form part of a legal planning requirement. If you want to contribute your trees towards the Forest for Cornwall Tree-ometer, please get in touch with us using the contact us form.

Yes, trees planted for other purposes like flood prevention, noise and windbreak protection.  As well as property shielding and protection can be considered as part of the programme. You just have to let us know when your trees were planted, and which species, via the contact us form.

We are working to develop a carbon offsetting scheme within the Forest for Cornwall programme with

  • the partners
  • local businesses
  • UK Government methodology

More information will become available soon.

No, the Forest for Cornwall is not able to provide financial support to purchase land for third party projects. There might be other avenues available (e.g. Charitable Trusts). If you have any successes please share these with us so that we can share your success with others via our webpage:

  • where appropriate and
  • you are content for us to do so

Yes, any trees planted in Cornwall since 1 September 2019, anywhere and by anyone can count towards the Forest for Cornwall. The only condition is that they do not form part of a legal planning requirement.

Forest for Cornwall is an ambitious project with the principle aim of fighting climate change. Participation and partnership are essential if we are to achieve these aims. Therefore, we want to involve as many local partners as possible. We aim to motivate everyone to:

  • create special events
  • take part in volunteering schemes
  • donate funds
  • in general, act to establish more trees and hedges across Cornwall

We have already had approaches from a number of individuals and companies who can see the potential and we welcome others. We are starting discussions with a number of local businesses to explore the opportunities. If you have suggestions or wish to explore how you or your business can help, please contact us. Kindly note that we are a small team and cannot respond quickly to all requests.

Forest for Cornwall is an ambitious project with the principle aim of fighting climate change. Participation and partnership are essential if we are to achieve these aims. Therefore, we want to involve as many local partners as possible. We aim to motivate everyone to:

  • create special events
  • take part in volunteering schemes
  • donate funds
  • in general, act to establish more trees and hedges across Cornwall

Town and Parish Council may have this information on hand at the local level therefore our advice would be to get in touch. View contact details for your local council.

You may also wish to contact one of the Tree Wardens from your area.

If you want to register your project as a contribution towards Forest for Cornwall, please contact us. Please provide as much information as possible. Such as the number of trees, species, and where the trees were planted etc. This will allow us to update the Tree-ometer and calculate the carbon drawdown.

A key part of Forest for Cornwall is to ensure the protection of our existing canopy. It needs to be part of our planning system, our policies and practices. Trees face increasing pressures from pests and diseases including diseases such as ash dieback. There will be more storms and extreme weather brought about by climate change. More assessments and careful management will be required.

The regulatory framework for the protection of trees is well established. But, as part of the Forest for Cornwall, work is underway to improve the local policies. This includes:

  • Ash Die Back Plan
  • Building with Nature accreditation
  • the biodiversity net gain framework within the planning system

As well as being amazing natural climate solutions and their natural beauty, trees, woods and hedges play a valuable role in providing goods and services from which we benefit.

They help:

  • regulate climate
  • store carbon
  • filter pollutants
  • provide shade
  • reduce flooding

They provide us with:

  • fuel
  • timber
  • food and fruit
  • offer food and refuge for wildlife

There are also numerous cultural associations with trees that reflect our shared history over time.

Trees connect important habitats across Cornwall. Cornish field boundaries create the framework of the Cornish countryside. Most Cornish field boundaries are medieval in origin, but some are prehistoric. This makes them highly valuable historic structures. They help us understand the past management of the land and can help guide the future care of our environment.

Being out in nature encourages us to take more physical exercise and have been shown to improve mental health. We have seen an increased interest over the past months in nature around us.  Both within our towns and countryside and this has only been heightened through the COVID19 challenges.

Additional information is included on the Forest for Cornwall page.

If you plan to create woodland in Cornwall, you can get some advice and may be eligible for grant aid from the Forestry Commission. The Forestry Commission’s woodland grants and incentives overview table shows the full range of grant and incentive schemes available for:

  • woodland creation
  • maintenance, management and tree health

This is a starting point and further information can be found following the links within the table. Or by speaking to your local Forestry Commission Woodland Officer.

In Cornwall, only 9% of the population has access to a small area of woodland close to their home. This is compared to the UK average of 21%. Sadly, only 41% of the Cornish population has access to large woodlands of 20 hectares or more within 4 km of where they live. Compared to a UK average of 72%.

If you want to find out about accessible woodland in Cornwall then please visit https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/find-woods.

Access to trees and woodlands can make people happier and healthier. Particularly for those living in more deprived communities. Forest for Cornwall will include the creation and enhancement of accessible woodlands. They will provide places to walk, cycle as well as peaceful areas for enjoyment.

We aim to improve these statistics over the next 10 years.

To achieve our ambition to increase canopy cover by 2% by 2030, a significant proportion of new woodlands and forestry is likely to be on private land. This may not necessarily be suitable for open public access. Although some will have public rights of way through the land. There are many benefits to spending time across all seasons within woodlands or being near to trees through the seasons. The more people in Cornwall who can experience this, the better. We hope that Forest for Cornwall will increase the numbers of our residents who can benefit from these opportunities.

As we can’t stop all carbon emissions, the option to capture carbon from the atmosphere through natural climate solutions is vital. These natural solutions reduce our net-emissions which can bring us closer to becoming carbon neutral. Carbon neutral means that all emissions minus the emissions drawn down from the atmosphere add up to zero.

This is an opportunity for us to ‘think globally by acting locally’. We can all do something to change the world we live in.

Furthermore, the woodlands planted here are required to meet the UK Forestry Standard. This ensures sustainable forest management and replacement when trees are felled for uses such as wood products or fuel. So, by encouraging woodland creation in Cornwall, we are ensuring the future of that woodland in the longer term. You can find out more about Sustainable Forestry and what regulations govern it by visiting the Forestry Commission website.

Ash Dieback and a number of other pests and diseases significantly challenge our woodland and tree resource. It would be easy to think that our efforts are in vain. But many people are trying to address the impacts of such diseases and there is much we can do in Cornwall. This includes washing off boots at the end of the walk (see the guidance on biosecurity section).  This avoids accidentally spreading any diseases. Additionally, sourcing your trees for planting from a UK nursery. It is also important to replace any ash you have with appropriate and resistant trees.

The Council are working on Ash Dieback with partners to meet the challenge and not allow it to deflect our ambitions for increased woodland cover. You can do much to help us through your actions and contributions to the Forest for Cornwall. Diseases such as Ash Dieback make the Forest for Cornwall more important than ever.

 

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