The public are being asked for their views on a proposed tree planting scheme designed to help the island meet its climate change goals.

The Woodland Grant Scheme (WGS) is part of government efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change by increasing natural carbon capture opportunities from trees.

It has been developed to support the government’s action plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The grant scheme encourages the creation of new woodlands by landowners who are not in receipt of the Agricultural Development Scheme 2019 - the criteria for which included being an active farmer with at least 12.5 eligible acres.

If approved, the 2021 scheme will allow grants to be issued to landownders for the planting and maintenance of new woodlands of between 0.2 and 10 hectares (around 18 football pitches).

Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ’It would deliver economic, environmental and social benefits on the island.

’In many ways the pandemic has shone a light on the importance of nature and the creation of new woodland can play a crucial role in combating the biodiversity and climate crises we face.

’Increased planting also provides important wildlife habitat, enhances and protects the environment, and has proven benefits for people’s health and wellbeing.’

The survey, running until March 7, is available on the government’s webside.

In other forestry news, the Ramsey Forest project, launched in 2014 to link the glens, plantations and woodlands between Ramsey and Sulby, is moving forward with a public project to improve access to the Hairpin Woodlands Park.

People who want to help out are asked to bring shovels and wheelbarrows at meet at 10am Sunday, February 28, at the Ramsey Hairpin.