More than 5,000 trees supplied by the Woodland Trust will be planted across East Anglia, Kent, East Sussex and Northumberland.
The Tree Disease Recovery Packs have been specifically tailored to be planted in landscapes where many ash trees are already affected and likely to be lost in years to come, in particular outside of woods in hedgerows, verges, along field edges, corners and watersides in the wider landscape.
Austin Brady, Woodland Trust director of conservation, said: “The response we’ve had from landowners to our pilot is encouraging and shows the passion to look after our countryside in the face of ash dieback and other tree diseases. Although we won’t lose all our ash trees immediately, we do expect many thousands to die across the countryside.
“We need to continue planting now, not only to protect the beauty of our landscapes but to provide the crucial habitat for wildlife that will be lost. We also need to help secure the wider benefits our countryside trees deliver: providing shade and shelter, helping to reduce run-off and erosion, and supporting pollinators.”
The trees will be supplied as part of a £4.5m investment in native tree stock by the Trust, which ensures all the trees the charity provides are grown in the UK from fully traceable seed stock sourced throughout the UK and Ireland.
Landowner Marie Walker from Mattishall, Norfolk is planting this winter.
She added: “We have one boundary hedge which, in particular, has several mature ash trees in it. We decided that we’d like to plant a new hedge three metres into the field in order to create a wildlife corridor which in time would ensure the continuation of a mature tree line around our property should the ash die.
“There are plenty of hedges locally but there is a notable absence of woods, in fact Norfolk as a whole is very sparsely wooded. The English countryside will change forever if people do not plant a continuous supply of large native tree species and ash dieback brings this truth more immediately to our door. The Woodland Trust is doing a great job at leading a preventative strike.”