Woodland cover in Wiltshire could increase by 68 per cent if councils and the government worked together to boost tree planting, environmental campaigners have claimed.

Friends of the Earth is calling on the government to mark National Tree Week this week by setting ambitious tree growing targets.

The organisation and mapping consultancy Terra Sulis, funded by People’s Postcode Lottery, mapped existing and potential woodland in England.

Its research shows that there are 23,014 hectares of land in Wiltshire which could be used for planting trees, without encroaching on high-value arable farmland, priority habitats, peat bogs or protected nature sites. This would increase the amount of woodland in the area by 68 per cent not including trees in urban areas such as parks and public gardens.

According to the government’s National Forest Inventory, only 10 per cent of Wiltshire’s 325,534 hectares of land are covered in woodland and there is a potential for 7 per cent more to be added, according to Friends of the Earth.