Trees for Devon

The Woodland Trust is currently setting up a Trees for Devon Working Group which will produce a Trees Strategy for Devon. Devon Local Nature Partnership have now produced a range of resources emphasising the Right Place Right Tree approach to tree planting. These resources include:

More detailed information about the guidance

Devon’s landscapes today

A vision for a tree rich Devon

Step-by-step guide

Other tree related projects in Devon include:

Devon County Council (DCC) are looking at off-setting their carbon emissions from 2020/21 which will include investment in woodland establishment and creation/restoration of other habitats, depending on their potential for carbon storage. DCC is also acquiring land for woodland creation to offset biodiversity loss arising from its own developments.

Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum (DADRF) is promoting the replacement of any ash trees that are taken down due to ash dieback on a 3-2-1 policy (plant 3 new trees for any mature ash tree removed, plant 2 new trees for any non-mature trees and plant 1 new tree for any saplings removed). DCC have signed up to this policy as have many other DADRF partners. The Tamar Valley AONB is a representative on the DADRF forum.

DCC operated two free tree schemes over the 2019/20 winter planting season via the DADRF website, one for landowners in association with the Woodland Trust (40 packs of 45 trees) and one for Devon parishes which has resulted in 31 parish councils across Devon collecting a landmark tree. There were more applications for trees than the scheme could provide but those who missed out this time were signposted to the Saving Devon’s Treescapes project for future planting schemes.

DADRF was successful in its application for funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the Saving Devon’s Treescapes project and the Devon Wildlife Trust are leading the project on behalf of the Forum. Key outcomes from the project will be:

  • The planting of 250,000 trees outside of woodlands
  • This new planting to include a new ‘Landmark Tree’ in each Parish, 19,500 trees in ‘fruit routes’ and urban edges, 50 hectares of new copses and field corner planting, 20km of ‘flagship hedgerow’ and the ‘tagging’ of hedgerow trees
  • The establishment and ongoing running of three community tree nurseries, providing a future supply of trees for planting through the project and beyond

The project will encourage communities to plant trees to combat landscape and ecological impacts of ash dieback. DCC is a key match-funding partner and has pledged £50k /year over the next 5 years to this project. For more info, see the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum website.

Devon’s AONBs are signed up to the National Association for AONB’s Colchester Declaration which will see at least 36,000 hectares of new woodland being established in AONBs across the UK, some of which will be in Devon.

There is a lot of partnership activity throughout Devon around the theme of woodland creation:

  • Various parties are engaged in mapping woodland constraints, sensitivities and opportunities.
  • A woodland creation workshop aimed at local authorities was delivered by Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust in February 2020 to achieve a better understanding of requirements, Woodland Carbon Code, funding opportunities, barriers and how to overcome these.
  • There are a number of organisations across the county working to establish Nature Recovery Networks, including woodland and hedgerow expansion.
  • DCC Flood Risk management team has recently consulted on draft Natural Flood Management Guidance which includes woodland creation as part of the solution.

The Devon Environment Group team day in December 2019 planted 200 trees

The need for a joined up, consistent approach and co-ordination of all this has become clear. In particular to give clear guidance to landowners on the right tree in the right place, using the right establishment method, and with the right aftercare.

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