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Locals brave freezing weather to plant 600 trees in Exeter

Published: 13 December 2022

Locals brave freezing weather to plant 600 trees in Exeter Nearly 600 trees have been planted

Nearly 600 trees have been planted by volunteers at one of Exeter’s green spaces.

Local people braved icy cold temperatures to help with the mass planting sessions at New Haven Field, just down river from Exeter Quay.

The sessions were organised by Saving Devon’s Treescapes, a project led by Devon Wildlife Trust, working closely with Exeter City Council, who own the land. The planting was sponsored by the local branch of Wilmott Dixon. Many of the company's staff showed up to help plant the trees.

Saving Devons Treescapes works hard to mitigate the effect that Ash Dieback disease is having on the county’s trees. The disease is estimated to kill at least 90% of Devon’s ash trees in the coming years.

Only recently it was revealed that Exeter is leading the way in city centre green spaces and tree canopy cover. A report from the University of Sheffield ranked Exeter as the number one city for green spaces and trees in its city centre, ahead of 67 other UK cities.

Rosie Cotgreave, of Saving Devon’s Treescapes, said they planted a total of 591 trees over two sessions on Tuesday.

A number of the trees were nut species, continuing the theme of fruit and nuts, with the nearby orchards.

Volunteers also planted some shrub species around the edge of the site, such as dogwood, rowan and elder, along with larger species in the middle, like oak and small leafed lime. All trees are UK broadleaf species – some provided by the Woodland Trust and some by Perrie Hale.

Rosie added: “We were very happy to be asked to help with this wonderful local initiative to revive a neglected space. By planting nearly 600 new broadleaf trees in this area we have been able to improve it for wildlife and the local community. With the many threats facing our treescapes, it’s vital that we find these spaces – particularly in urban areas - to plant trees and ensure we have diverse and resilient treescapes for years to come.”

Saving Devon's Treescapes is led by Devon Wildlife Trust on behalf of the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum. It's a partnership project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as well as other funders. Read more about the project and find other ways to get involved on the Devon Wildlife Trust website 

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