the woodland trust _ breaktime news

Step closer for creation of a west country wildlife haven

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A nature charity is stepping up its campaign to raise £275,000 to transform a 130-acre west country site into a fully wooded area which will become a ‘safe’ haven for wildlife. 

The Woodland Trust recently raised enough money to purchase the land in South Devon and is now looking to raise the further funds to create a wooded sanctuary. 

The charity says money poured in following the start of a campaign to secure the area. 

It was kick-started by a £750,000 grant from Biffa Award in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group and with the support of The John Swire 1989 Charitable Trust.

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Having successfully raised the cash earlier this year, it’s now stepping up its fundraising campaign to try to ensure tree planting can start in the autumn months. The charity is directing potential sponsors to its website where they can learn more about the project

The area is close to several nature reserves which are classed as important habitats for rare and declining birdlife. 

The Woodland Trust says its work has the potential to make a significant contribution to the wider landscape – and further the protection of wildlife.

‘With access for local people to a new green space, this project will contribute to health and wellbeing at a time when this is sorely needed,’ explains Paul Allen, Devon site manager for The Woodland Trust.

The charity says its plans will give nature a helping hand as the site will create a ‘vibrant mosaic of woodland’ and wood pasture together with open grassland spaces.

‘Its existing hedgerows, veteran trees, streams, copse and wooded valley provide a good basis for this unique woodland creation project.’ 

‘The proximity of it to nature reserves, including the Pebblebed Heaths and the Exe Estuary, adds to its significance,’ explains Paul. 

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‘It is a privilege to have been able to play a part in securing the future of this land for years to come,’ Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award grants manager. 

‘We awarded the Woodland Trust £750,000 towards the purchase, which is the maximum grant possible through the Biffa Award Partnership Grants Scheme, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund.’ 

‘The funding has secured the site in perpetuity, and it will become an amazing woodland filled with a rich matrix of habitats that will tackle climate change and provide the opportunity for people to explore green space and enjoy wildlife.’

The Woodland Trust says this flagship project will use a range of techniques to introduce suitable native trees and plants. It has also pledged to end the use of plastic tree shelters.

The charity adds the project will showcase the multiple benefits of trees and woods for climate adaptation, natural flood management and carbon capture.

Over the coming months, it plans to start consulting with local people on plans to bring the vision into fruition. 

The Woodland Trust was formed in Devon and is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. 

Photographs kindly supplied by The Woodland Trust Media Library

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