Fingers crossed for ‘Saving Devon’s Treescapes’ bid

A bid to fund a £2.4 million tree planting project, being led by Devon Wildlife Trust on behalf of the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum, has been submitted to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project aims to encourage communities to get involved in planting trees outside of woodland areas, both in the countryside and in towns and cities, in order to replace trees expected to be lost due to Ash dieback. Planting trees will help to capture more carbon and build resilience against climate change impacts.

By engaging with local communities, schools and volunteer groups, three community nurseries and micro-nurseries will distribute free trees. The project proposes to –

– establish at least 250,000 new trees in Devon, outside of woodland areas;

– 125 events and workshops, annual Tree-week festivals and 360 landowner visits will inspire community involvement and action;

– more than 150km of hedgerow will be created or enhanced.

Peter Chamberlain, Devon County Council’s Environment Manager and Chair of the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum, said: “This bid represents a huge collective effort by dedicated individuals across the Forum. Special thanks goes to the Devon Wildlife Trust, who led the preparation of this bid and worked hard on behalf of the Forum over the past few months.”

Devon County Council, the Woodland Trust and DWT have pledged substantial match funding for the project. We are extremely grateful for the many other councils, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and organisations across Devon who are also contributing significant cash, expertise and in-kind support.

The Forum is expecting to hear by the end of the year if its bid has been successful. If so, the project will start in January.