£2.5m bid to turn Devon site into woodland wildlife refuge

The Woodland Trust is proposing to turn a rural site in Devon into new woodland for a range of wildlife, in the county where the charity began its work 50 years ago.

The nature charity is asking for the public’s help to urgently raise the balance of £1million of the £2.5million asking price needed to transform land near Lympstone, near the Exe Estuary in Devon, with a mix of planting and regrowing trees and shrubs. naturally.

The areas will also be left in open ground with wooded pastures and grasslands and it is hoped that the project will create favorable conditions for the colonization of a range of species including rare nightjars, endangered bats, hazel dormice (pictured above) and dull butterflies.

The 54-hectare (134-acre) site may even attract beavers from the nearby River Otter population once streams and waterways are restored and colonized with alders, willows and other native trees, said the charity.

The area currently consists of farmland and small pockets of existing hardwood and bluebell forest, as well as several streams and individual old trees.

The Woodland Trust says volunteers and local residents will be involved in creating the new woodland landscape, that there will be public access and that tree planting will be done without using plastic tree guards.

The charity turns 50, having started life as a group of friends in Devon discussing saving a local woodland in 1972, which soon led to the charity’s first purchase of charity – Avon Woods – in the county. He now looks after 1,000 woodlands across the UK and campaigns to protect others from development.

The Trust has already raised £1.5million to acquire and manage the land but still needs another £1million for the project and says time is running out as it needs to complete the purchase by March.

Paul Allen, Devon site manager for the Woodland Trust, said: ‘Nestled in a hidden valley in East Devon, the site includes areas of extant broadleaf woodland, several streams and a scattering of veteran trees. isolated, which would once have been part of hedgerows, criss-crossing fields.

“What makes this land such a prize is the exceptional array of rare wildlife found nearby which we hope will settle once a greater variety of habitats, trees in open spaces, will have been established.

“In our 50th year, with the twin threats of climate change and nature loss looming ever larger, this is a hugely important time to create this forest and provide more spaces for nature to thrive. and improves connectivity to the wider landscape.”

Further details of the Devon Forest Campaign, and how to donate to charityare available online.

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