The National Trust in North Devon is calling for helpers of all shapes and sizes to join in the charity’s ‘Big Tree Plant’ in February and help put in the first of 125,000 trees they plan to plant along the North Devon coast and countryside over the next three years.
Big Tree Plant
It’s part of their Big Tree Plant event over the school half-term weekend of the 22 and 23 February.
The charity is asking members of the public to lend a hand that weekend by signing up to help plant the trees, or help fund the work by donating £5 towards the purchase and planting of a tree.
It’s part of an ambitious project to plant over 100,000 trees in total, over a 3-5 year period to improve conditions for wildlife such as birds, bats and butterflies and help to provide a habitat haven. The charity need more funding to reach this goal and are hoping the public will be able to help.
A natural corridor
From West Exmoor, to Woolacombe to right down to Bideford Bay these trees will help combat climate change by creating a natural corridor which will help to connect large areas of land, improving habitat for wildlife along the North Devon coastline. The trees will help fight climate change by breathing life into the environment, absorbing carbon dioxide and regulating temperatures as well as helping to combat flooding and drought.
Diversity of trees
The trees will be a mix of oak, birch, sycamore, hazel, hawthorn, alder, willow and various fruiting trees. The diversity of trees will mean that the wood can support a variety of wildlife and will be resilient to pests, disease and climate change.
Tree planting will be taking place at three places along the coast on 22 and 23 February. At Woolacombe Down the ranger team are hoping for extra pairs of hands to help plant the first of around 5,000 trees and volunteers can drop in at any time between 10am-3.30pm to help. At Combe Park on Exmoor the charity is aiming to plant 800 trees over the weekend.
Woodland priority habitat
Joshua Day, ranger at Woolacombe said: “Folks can stay all day and plant as many as they like, or they can plant one or two, remember where they are and watch them grow old. You don’t need to bring anything, just wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and be ready to do job such as digging holes for trees, planting and attaching tree guards. These trees will help create woodland priority habitat which have been hand-picked by government and in need of help to benefit different species such as invertebrates and birds.”
Rob Joules, general manager for the National Trust’s North Devon Countryside said: “Throughout the winter our dedicated staff and volunteers will continue to add to the number of trees planted during our Big Tree Plant weekend, but we are hoping that the event will provide a great kick start to our ambition to plant over 125,000 trees. We’re hoping lots of school kids, parents and the community join us to get involved over the weekend, which falls in half-term.”
Anyone unable to join in with the Big Tree Plan but wishing to support the work, can donate to the National’s Trust North Devon tree campaign by visiting the website: nationaltrust.org.uk/woolacombe
We can improve valuable habitats and biodiversity while making an impact on carbon emissions that contribute climate change.
Catherine Wright, National Trust Ranger said: “£5 can pay to plant a broadleaf tree sapling, £20 could help plant a fruit tree sapling and £50 could help protect a tree for years. There are great benefits to gain from tree-planting. We can improve valuable habitats and biodiversity while making an impact on carbon emissions that contribute climate change. Besides all of this, trees create a wonderful oasis to escape for peace and tranquility.”
Fight climate change
Planting trees can really help in the fight towards climate change as just one tree can absorb up to 1 tonne of CO2 in its lifetime. Over the next few years the National Trust’s hopes to plant 125,000 trees at different locations in North Devon.
The tree planting so far is possible due to National Trust membership, gifts in wills and sponsorship from businesses. For more details of the tree planting or how to donate events, head to the North Devon woodland appeal website.
For anyone who’d like to help plant trees at Woolacombe, go to Marine Drive and follow the signs to the planting on the day.
To find out more or to book a spot helping at Combe Park, visit nationaltrust.org.uk/woolacombe and book your space by Thursday, 20 February.
For any enquiries or questions, email [email protected].
For anyone wishing to donate, see here: nationaltrust.org.uk/woolacombe
top image: courtesy of National Trust Images/James Dobson
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