SOUTH Lincolnshire’s leafy network of trees and hedges is growing, thanks to those taking advantage of a county-wide grant scheme.
Grants totalling some £3,000 have been awarded to create woodland areas in Surfleet, Holbeach Drove, Gedney Hill and Bicker this winter.
The cash from Lincolnshire County Council’s Hedge and Small Woodland Grant scheme means an extra 735 metres of hedge and 0.75 hectares of woodland.
John Pegden is one of those taking advantage of the cash to create woodland on his five-acre farm in Holbeach Bank.
He said: “I received 430 trees courtesy of the grant. These were a mixture of trees and woodland shrubs suitable for my land and what I want them for – mainly for wildlife, but also to coppice some of the species.
“Matthew Davey, from Lincolnshire County Council, kindly visited my smallholding before I submitted the formal application and was very helpful, planning with me where to site the trees and advising me over species mix and how to plant them and look after them.
“Almost three quarters of the cost went on protecting the trees from rabbits and hares, which are very common round here.”
The county council runs the scheme to address a dramatic decline of hedgerows in the UK since 1945.
It provides a 50 per cent grant (up to a maximum of £1,000) towards the cost of trees and protection.
Mr Pegden said: “Receiving a grant for half the cost meant I could go ahead with my plans in one go, rather than having to spread it out over a couple of years.
“I also would never have been able to source the trees for the same price as Lincolnshire, as they calculate the cost for buying tree species in bulk.”
The 2012/13 grant is now open to anyone who owns or manages land within the county of Lincolnshire. For more information, contact Environmental Management at Lincolnshire County Council on 01522 552349 or visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/hedgesandwoodlandgrant