A Midland family farm has got rid of most of its fruit and vegetable fields to grow lucrative poplar trees instead.
H A Snell & Sons, in Lower Lulham, Herefordshire, has planted the woodland crop in most of its fields and on 1,300 hectares of land.
Poplar bark is used for boxes of fruit, cheese, wine and for chair backs, table tops, window shutters and blinds.
The wood is increasingly used instead of plastic and can be carved into ornamental woodwork.
H A Snell & Sons received a £152,000 grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for its enterprise.
George Snell, who works for the business, said: "The importance of poplar as a profitable crop cannot be overstated, particularly when viewed in the context of the destruction of tropical forests.
"Plantations of poplar absorb carbon dioxide emissions and are an ideal way for landowners to combine farmland with woodland.
"Poplar plantations require less intensive maintenance for the farmer than most crops and there is no capital outlay for the farmer or landowner."
H A Snell & Sons has formed a business called The Poplar Company, which inspects sites for farmers looking to grow the crop and offers advice on applying for grants and felling licences.
It also offers to prune and weed poplars on a regular basis.
Mr Snell said: "Thanks to the Forestry Commission and Defra, landowners eligible for grant aid start with a positive cashflow from the outset.
"Preferred plantation sites are sheltered flat acres of land with good access, but we assess all potential sites before expecting a landowner to enter into an agreement.
"To sustain the necessary supply of timber, the search continues for landowners with a few acres or a few thousand acres suitable for the planting of poplar."
He said landowners should hurry because some applications needed to be submitted by September 30 for trees to be planted in spring next year.
* For more information visit www.poplartree.co.uk