THREE new forests will be created in Northumberland after the Government pledged to plant one million new trees across the county.

As part of the Government’s Great Northumberland Forest project, it was revealed that the trees would be planted in the county over the next five years.

The announcement came after a recent Forestry Summit in Hexham, hosted by Egger, where the former Forestry Minister, David Rutley MP, and National Tree Champion Sir William Worsley spoke with local forestry industry leaders.

Planting for the new forests would begin next year, to coincide with the UK hosting COP26 international climate conference, and the forests would be completed by spring 2024.

Hexham’s MP Guy Opperman welcomed the Government’s plans. He said: “This is great news for Northumberland and I am delighted that our county is at the heart of the Government’s broader plan to tackle climate change and enhance biodiversity.

“Trees and forests are an essential part of the our countryside, provide significant health and wellbeing benefits, and are a vital part of our response to climate change – planting more trees will tackle emissions.

“This plan also supports timber industries in the longer term, which are crucial to the Northumberland economy.”

The first part of the Government plan would include planting on existing or newly purchased government land.

The second phase would involve the creation of a Northumberland Forestry Partnership to develop plans for the new forest, bringing together local residents, landowners and environmental groups to work with the Government.

Up to 120,000 hectares of land in Northumberland has been deemed suitable for forestry creation.

This story first appeared in the Hexham Courant.