Tens of thousands of trees plan for ‘greener’ Tyrone
AMBITIOUS plans to extend the amount of wood cover in Tyrone by more than 50 percent have been embarked upon by the Northern Ireland Forestry Service.
Currently 8 percent of land in County Tyrone is forested, a fraction of the European average of 44%, and lower than the rest of the UK where the average is about 10%.
The forestry service has set itself tree-planting targets for all of Northern Ireland and is due to begin a major tree-planting scheme which will see forest land doubled over the next fifty years to a level not seen since medieval times.
The initial target is to have 13 percent of the Tyrone countryside covered in forest, the second highest target in the North after Fermanagh where it hopes to have 23 percent wood coverage.
Currently county Down has the least amount of wood cover at 4%.
According to the Forestry Service, it plans to cover 20 percent of the county’s poorly drained soils with trees, excluding sites above 300m elevation and conservation sites deemed unsuitable for trees.
The details were released at the Northern Assembly after a question by North Antrim MLA Paul Frew.
Earlier this year, the UK government’s plans to sell off Forestry-Commission-owned land, caused a public outcry and a petition signed by half a million people.
It led to the first u-turn performed by the Coalition, and recommendations that instead of selling off forests, the government should be expanding the amount of publicly owned woodland.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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