Somerset Council are looking to plant 240 hectares of new woodland across the county.

It comes after a finding showing just eight per cent of Somerset enjoys tree cover, compared to the 13 per cent average across the UK.

The scheme is part of 'Somerset's Tree Strategy' which launched in September. It sets out to enhance and protect the county's trees.

Scheme strategist James Chapman said: "Many communities have already been involved in schemes to protect our landscape, but this is an exciting time when plans can go forward with the support of the council. 

“Although lots of residents don’t have space in their gardens to grow trees, communities can still plant local seeds and nurture seedlings that can be grown in more suitable places, which can be achieved by creating community tree seed nurseries across the county.”

Community Empowerment Officer Craig Daters added: "The initial focus for my current role is to get building blocks in place to enable communities and landowners in Somerset to become more self-sufficient. 

“This means developing opportunities for more home-grown trees and supporting communities to plant trees whilst advising landowners on woodland creation.” 

Councillor Dixie Darch, Lead Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “The new Tree Strategy has been launched in recognition of how important trees are to the landscape, the environment and how that impacts on the lives of our residents. 

"We are delighted to welcome Craig and James who will help implement a diverse range of management practices that improve our woodland quality and help protect the range of species being planted in rural and urban areas. This is Somerset’s strategy to help trees be a thriving part of our landscape, our ecology, and our society. It belongs to us all.”