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A FREE tree scheme is being made available to farmers and rural landowners in Leicestershire.
Since it was set up in 2008, the Leicestershire County Council scheme has helped enhance the landscape by supplying around 8,000 free trees to rural areas.
Since the early 1980s, the county has lost over 50% of its single landscape trees from rural areas.
This is largely due to the ravages of Dutch Elm Disease and other disorders, such as Ash Decline, in the 1980s.
More recently, disorders such as Chestnut Bleeding Canker and Oak Decline are adding to this loss.
The council can provide trees for farmers and landowners to plant in hedgerows, field boundaries, field corners and in parkland areas.
Sites next to, and visible from, main road corridors are preferred but any site on rural land which is visible to the public will be considered.
The scheme does not cover private gardens.
The initiative is a partnership arrangement where the county council supplies the trees and planting materials and the landowner carries out the planting and subsequent aftercare.
Councillor Byron Rhodes, who has responsibility for forestry, said: "The Free Tree scheme demonstrates our commitment to safeguarding and enhancing Leicestershire's landscapes.
"We are keen to hear from anyone who would like to do their bit towards making the county leafier."
Farmers and rural landowners interested in applying for free trees should visit www.leics.gov.uk/freetrees.
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