Habitat: Native Woodland
Location: South Devon
Size: 32 Acres
Species: Hazel, English oak, Holm oak, Hornbeam
This 17,500-tree mixed native woodland plantation was in hilly farmland bordered by Dartmoor on one side and the South Devon coast on the other. It was divided into four blocks designed to blend in and enhance the landscape by connecting with existing treelines and copses and will deliver several ecosystem services including carbon sequestration, restoring soil and preventing erosion and flooding.
In such open country avoiding potential wind damage was an important consideration. Building in suitable rides and access points for machinery was essential for watering, weed control and replacing trees during the establishment. Ed Nicholson explained. “With such a large-scale woodland planting scheme, many factors need to be taken into account including appropriate species, spacing of rides and clearings for access. For example, we planted evergreen holm oaks along the perimeter with trees spaced closer behind them as protection from the weather. When planning rides it’s also important not to create wind tunnels that can damage trees on the edge.”
The project presented unique challenges as the ground had to be heavily improved and worked before planting and a very wet winter made it difficult to access. Regular checks after planting were made to see how the trees were establishing.