Landowners will be incentivised to plant trees to help the Island meet its climate change goals after Tynwald approved the Woodlands Grant Scheme last week.

It is part of the gov’s plans to meet a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and was developed as part of an action plan to boost carbon capture opportunities.

The WGS will see eligible landowners offered grants to create and maintain woodland of up to £4,880 per hectare spread over five years.

Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘To reach net zero, action must be taken to not only reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, but also to capture carbon from the atmosphere and the WGS can play a crucial role. By encouraging planting of the right trees, on the right site, for the right reasons, the WGS can also contribute to the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity, complement our UNESCO Biosphere status, and benefit people’s wellbeing.

‘In coming years we are predicted to lose thousands of trees to ash dieback and other diseases on the Island so this scheme is a great step forward and we will reap the benefits for years to come.’

The WGS will provide a one-off payment to landowners, or tenants with the landowners permission, and cover the majority of planting costs with additional funds provided each year for maintenance of sites of up to 10 hectares per claim.

Further support grants will be allocated on a sliding scale to benefit new woodland creation.

Planning approval is required and each woodland must remain in place for at least 30 years with regular inspections part of the agreement.

The Isle of Man Government have planted more than 140,000 trees this year including 85,000 at Meary Veg in Santon to form a People’s Wood.

Following the passing of the regulations DEFA will now be working on a launch for the scheme later in the year. If you would like to register your interest please contact forestry@gov.im

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