Over 4,000 Trees Planted in Plymouth to Bolster Community Forest Initiative

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In a significant stride towards environmental sustainability, Plymouth and South Devon have witnessed the planting of over 4,000 trees in just one season, bringing the cumulative total to more than 12,000 trees since the inception of the Community Forest initiative in 2020.

The extensive tree planting effort, which took place between November 2023 and the arrival of warmer, dryer weather, was spearheaded by Plymouth City Council. The initiative saw the planting of a variety of trees, including whips, fruit trees, and standards, reflecting a diverse approach to enhancing green spaces across the city.

A council spokesperson highlighted the community’s collective effort, noting that over 12,000 trees have been planted across more than 100 sites since 2020, when the Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest was first launched.

The cabinet member responsible for the environment and climate change expressed satisfaction with the results, acknowledging the ambitious nature of the winter’s planting schedule and commending the teams for their perseverance in challenging weather conditions. They emphasized the importance of tree planting for climate benefits and community value, and were particularly pleased with the high level of resident and community group involvement.

The recent planting season saw several noteworthy achievements:

  • 34 individual schemes were delivered.
  • 340 standards were planted.
  • 83 maiden fruit trees were established.
  • 3,758 whips were introduced.
  • 515 metres of new hedgerow were planted.
  • 307 individuals, predominantly children aged 3-12, actively participated in tree planting and maintenance activities.

All newly planted trees are part of the Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest, which spans the city and extends into the South Hams and Dartmoor regions. Since its launch in September 2020, the PSDCF has enabled the creation of over 171 hectares of new woodland throughout South Devon, equating to approximately 121,000 trees.

By April 2026, the initiative aims to expand further by planting an additional 300 hectares across the project area. This ambitious target includes the development of a mosaic of orchards, hedgerows, areas of natural regeneration, native broadleaf, and productive woodland.

The innovative approach of the community forest ensures it is not confined to a single geographic location. Instead, it integrates a variety of woodland types, including community and private woodlands, urban woodlands, street plantings, and wooded habitat corridors.

Most of the schemes delivered across the city are developed in collaboration with residents and community groups, reflecting a strong emphasis on community involvement and co-design.

The Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest is a collaborative effort involving several partners: Plymouth City Council, the National Trust, the Woodland Trust, Dartmoor National Park, Devon County Council, South Hams District Council, and West Devon Borough Council. Funding for the initiative is provided through the DEFRA Nature for Climate fund.

Understanding Tree Types: Whips, Standards, and Maiden Fruit Trees

For those unfamiliar with the terminology, here’s a brief overview:

  • Whips are young, slender trees, often just a few feet tall at the time of planting. They are typically equipped with tubular guards to protect against rabbits and deer.
  • Maidens are smaller trees, usually ranging from three to five feet in height.
  • Standards are larger trees, already six to ten feet tall at planting, having been nurtured in a nursery for several years. These trees require the most aftercare as they establish but offer immediate visual impact, making them the preferred choice for urban areas such as streets and parks.

Future Prospects

The Community Forest initiative in Plymouth and South Devon represents a dynamic and evolving project aimed at enhancing the region’s green infrastructure. With an ambitious goal of planting an additional 300 hectares by 2026, the initiative is set to create a substantial and lasting impact on the environment and the quality of life for residents.

As the project continues to unfold, the sustained involvement of community members and the support from various partners will be crucial in ensuring its success. The ongoing efforts not only contribute to combating climate change but also foster a sense of community pride and stewardship over local green spaces.

In summary, the Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest stands as a testament to what can be achieved through collaborative effort and a shared vision for a greener, more sustainable future.

Lauren Redford
Lauren Redfordhttps://newswriteups.com/
Journalist Lauren Redford is a seasoned business journalist who focuses on regional areas throughout the United Kingdom. With her expertise and dedication, Lauren brings insightful coverage of local communities and their economic landscapes. With a meticulous approach and a passion for storytelling, she uncovers stories that resonate with readers and offers a deeper understanding of the business world. Lauren's commitment to delivering accurate and engaging news makes her a valuable member of the News Write Ups team. lauren@newswriteups.com

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