Tree planting begins at a ‘flagship’ new wood near Exmouth to ‘kickstart nature’s recovery’

The planting of trees has begun in a new wood near Exmouth in a bid to ‘allow nature to bounce back’.

The Woodland Trust charity recently celebrated the planting of the first oak tree at its Yonder Oak Wood site, in Lympstone, near Exmouth, with the aim of kickstarting nature’s recovery.

Community plantings are set to start in December when the 134-acre site opens to the public. The charity hopes to plant 13,000 trees by the end of 2022.

The land near Exmouth was bought earlier this year by the Woodland Trust thanks to a public appeal, which raised £650,000, and a £750,000 Biffa Award grant.

Oak trees were planted this month as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, to mark the Platinum Jubilee.

Paul Allen, Woodland Trust site manager, said space for nature was needed ‘now more than ever’, adding the land ‘had so much potential’.

He said: “At Yonder Oak Wood our primary aim is nature recovery, and we hope that new trees, both planted and seeded naturally, will allow nature to bounce back.”

Mr Allen added: “Creating a new wooded landscape that will host wildlife way beyond our lifetimes and be resilient to the changing climate is no mean feat.

“We have been working to create a comprehensive design that will guide our work over the next five years, and we’ve planted the first new trees that will kickstart nature’s recovery.”

The charity hopes planting a woodland of wild cherry, oak and other native species will bring ‘huge benefits’ to wildlife and people.

The Woodland Trust said Yonder Oak Wood, with its network of paths for visitors, would become a regional ‘flagship woodland’ for the charity.

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award grants manager, said: “Biffa Award is delighted to be able to support the Woodland Trust, awarding a grant of £750,000 to help purchase this valuable woodland, a haven for a variety of important species including birds and insects.

“It is extremely important that we continue to support projects such as this one, which promote nature’s recovery and provide a place for wildlife to survive and thrive.”

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