The tree planting season has been rounded off at West Wood, near Farley Mount with the final 2,000 young trees put in the ground on 19 March. The remaining trees were planted by members of staff from Ground Control, as part of their new corporate partnership with Forestry England.

West Wood covers an area of over 620 acres of woodland. This site was affected by Chalara, or ash dieback disease as it is more commonly known. Last year Forestry England had to remove thousands of ash trees from its land here in the South, which has been hit particularly hard by the disease. It can be really difficult to see trees destroyed by the disease in this way, but by re-planting areas, with carefully selected new broadleaf species we have the chance to do something positive about the situation and create healthy woodlands resilient to pests, diseases and the effects of climate change.

Ground Control is supporting Forestry England in the restoration of this local woodland by planting oak, hornbeam and cherry. The mix of species will ensure continuity of habitat and provide all the other benefits that trees bring, including carbon sequestration and the boost to health and wellbeing that local people take in visiting the area.

The new trees planted at West Wood will be looked after by Forestry England’s local team, with special attention paid to them for the first five years, a critical time for young trees to become established. The team conduct regular maintenance to help prevent the seedlings from being overgrown by other plants and protect them from being eaten by deer, rabbits and other wildlife.

Chris Bawtree, Environmental Lead Ground Control, said:

We are excited to be able to support Forestry England in this important project through our Evergreen environmental impact fund. This is another great example of how we are working in partnership with like-minded organisations to care for our environment and deliver positive impacts. It is critical that we manage and restock our established woodlands in addition to increasing forest cover through woodland creation.

Bruce Rothnie, South Forest Management Director for Forestry England, said:

I hope the young trees planted at West Wood will be enjoyed by many generations. This new corporate partnership initiative provides a great way for organisations to work with Forestry England on both tree planting and wildlife conservation projects to achieve the maximum positive environmental impact. The funding boost from Ground Control has enabled us to plant more trees, which goes to the heart of what Forestry England is all about.
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