Farmers across Stratford district are set to be given trees to plant on unproductive parts of their land after a £30,000 scheme was given the backing of councillors.

But there was a warning that community help might be needed to ensure the saplings thrive, particularly in extreme weather.

Stratford District Council’s climate change panel gave their backing to the Heart of England Forest-backed proposal when they met last month and there was further backing from the overview and scrutiny committee.

Deputy chief executive Tony Perks said: “In terms of tree planting, it has proved a little more difficult than we thought to find suitable sites and locations and trees. But one area where we have had some positive feedback with the Heart of England Forest is a scheme they are operating with farmers where they offer tree packs for use in parts of fields that are unproductive or have flooding issues.

“To me it seems to have a lot of merit. We took this to the climate change panel for their consideration and they were supportive of it.”

Cllr Kate Rolfe (Lib Dem, Tiddington) said there was also a Warwickshire County Council scheme offering thousands of trees while Cllr Mark Cargill (Con, Alcester and Rural) said that after speaking to a number of farmers in his area, very few were willing to lose good agricultural land.

Mr Perks added: “We are aware of the county council scheme and the tree nursery they have set up. What’s attractive about this particular scheme is that it’s quite easy to say we will plant trees but more difficult to deliver it – finding the trees and making sure it is sustainable and not just whither or removed. 

“This is specific intervention in an area where we can deliver. This is working with farmers rather than them feeling we are working against them.”