FARMERS have already started planting young saplings as part of the National Trust’s commitment to establishing 20 million new trees by 2030.

The trust believed the strategy would help prevent flooding and fight climate change, but said it was essential the trees took root ‘in the right places’, after some organisations raised fears about farmland effectively being taken out of production. Despite facing £200m in losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the trust has already planted 60,000 trees over recent months and has identified sites which would take another 1.5m trees over the next five years.

The focus will be on planting on farmland – including in upland areas – that the trust owns, rather than in country estates, but the director general, Hilary McGrady, said NT would be working with farmers to deliver the targets.