Three neighbouring Wildlife Trusts have recently launched a project to connect two of England’s largest native woodlands.
Late November saw the launch of ‘Severn Treescapes’, a collaboration between the Wildlife Wildlife Trusts of the Three Counties – Herefordshire, Worcestershire & Gloucestershire. The ambition is to create a connected 60 mile corridor of enhanced tree cover from the lower Wye valley to the Wyre Forest and back down again building on the existing older woodlands.
Connectivity is the key. Wall to wall woodland is not being aimed for, but to incorporate more trees into very productive farming land between two of the UKs larger Forests, Wyre Forest and the Forest of Dean. Between these forests the land has seen a reduction in tree cover and is being affected by Ash dieback and extreme climatic affects.
The project aims to support farmers in increasing tree cover while maintaining productivity, while encouraging communities to understand the value and importance of trees. Trees and hedgerows can help reduce the affects of climate change, provide habitation and shelter for much wildlife and other plants and fungi to thrive, help alleviate flood risk and add to our own well being.
Severn Treescapes will be
- providing a team of advisors on the ground to support farmers, landowners and communities access funding to plant, continue to grow and manage trees and woodlands.
- They aim to engage 5000 people to gather seeds and grow young trees that can be planted into their local area.
- From the combined Trusts press release an amazing 12% of England’s popualation live within a 30 minute drive of the project area so there is the opportunity to encourage people’s connection with trees and nature.
So why have we written all this text? What is the connection with a Fruit tree Nursery? There are a few reasons.
- At the official launch of ‘Severn Treescapes’ on 25 November, which was held at Hempsted Landfill site in Gloucester fruit trees were planted – three perry pears, which are indigenous of the Three Counties, were planted along with a Worcester Black Pear that we supplied. (Photo credit – Severn Treescapes)
- Much of the three counties was covered by orchards, often traditional orchards where the trees became sizeable, producing apples, cherries, plums, perry, cider. Fruitful woodland with a rich biodiversity.
- There is surely scope to to incorporate fruit trees in the corridor so we will be in contact with the Trusts to see how to enable this and to offer to assist when it comes to fruit tree planting and management.
The launch of ‘Severn Treescapes’ is part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, which marked the Platinum Jubilee of the late Queen Elizabeth 11 and will continue as a legacy project for this nationwide tree planting celebration in honour of the late Queen.
For more information on the Severn Treescapes visit the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust Severn Treescapes page. We would like to be involved more than just supply a tree for the launch event so we will keep you posted through our facebook page as and when we get involved.
Passing north to south through our county, Worcestershire, the corridor will be from The Wyre Forest in the north coming down wrapping around the eastern flank of Worcester then continuing down the Severn Vale towards Gloucester so passing quite close to us.