Woodland consultant hits milestone by planting one millionth tree
A COUNTY Armagh woman has planted one million trees in Northern Ireland in the last 13 years in a drive to help landowners and farmers make better use of land while contributing positively to the environment.
Reaching the significant milestone is Carolyn Trimble, owner of IndiWoods, a woodland consultancy specialising in securing funding for farmers or landowners who wish to plant trees on their land.
The tree-planting scheme brings environmental rewards, financial gain for landowners and health and wellbeing benefits for our overall community.
The mum of two to Oliver and Lois, who lives with husband Jeremy, says the scheme empowers landowners to plant a minimum of five hectares of woodland, with Carolyn specialising in native broadleaf woodlands, sourcing seeds of Irish provenance - Irish sown and grown.
Carolyn said: "I've been working with farmers and landowners in Northern Ireland for 13 years now and IndiWoods is getting more and more interest from people who want to put their land to better use.
"Environmentally, this scheme allows farmers and landowners to plant trees which creates new habitats, stores carbon, makes better use of land which is not easy to farm and improves our countryside visually.
"Not only that but trees can also reduce the negative impact of flooding by absorbing water, attract bees for pollination and also encourages health and wellbeing benefits as people use their woodlands then for a variety of uses including outdoor yoga, camping or walking and cycling trails.
"Financially the scheme greatly benefits the landowners as it provides a guaranteed income for 10 years, is in addition to Single Farm Payments where eligible and has various tax incentives."
Originally from the North of England, Carolyn graduated with a BSc (hons) in forestry almost 20 years ago and created IndiWoods. She won the RFS Best Established Woodland award in 2011 for a 50-acre community woodland in Selby, North Yorkshire and following her husband back to his family printing business in Armagh in 2004, brought IndiWoods with her.
The scheme is set to re-open again next month, and Carolyn said now is the time for landowners to think about the scheme uptake before the September deadline.
She added: "It has taken until 2017 to plant one million trees in Northern Ireland but this is a tremendous achievement for everyone involved to date.
"People who are planting the trees can range from farmers with large estates to small holders with a few acres. People have their own reasons as to why they take up the scheme. This can be farm diversification, to reduce stock numbers on the farm, as an alternative to letting the land on conacre or to earn income from the land.
"People can use it to grow fuel giving them the alternative to burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal as growing timber for fuel is carbon neutral and sustainable.
"As a direct result of all of the tree planting, we have increased and improved the habitats throughout Northern Ireland for an abundance of species such as owls, birds, otters, bats, red squirrels, pine martin, bees and many more small mammals, flora and fauna."
Carolyn will be at Armagh County Show, Saintfield Show and Rare Breed Show in Gosford as part of the one millionth tree celebrations.