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Some suspiciously young foresters seemed to be hard at work at the Forestry Commission’s Haldon Forest Park on Friday 20 February.
Community ranger Tim Powles enlisted the help of the Second Exeter Scout group to plant an oak tree near to the car park.
The scouts were taking part to secure their Forestry badge, which requires scouts to help plant a tree, understand woodland management and learn to identify different trees.
All of the scouts took turns to dig out the hole for the tree and then plant it in the ground while Tim Powles talked them through the tree planting process. As a thank you for their hard work the Forestry Commission have commissioned a special plaque to be made saying that the tree was planted by Second Exeter Scouts.
They then went further in to the forest and had a go at each planting an individual tree and also learning about forest habitats and how they are managed.
Scout leader Jim Mayes said:
“Haldon Forest Park is such a brilliant resource and the ideal place to bring the scouts – after all scouts should be outdoors. This has been part of their Forestry badge and they have all really enjoyed their day.”
Grace Turner, aged 11 said:
“I’ve been to Haldon before with my family and I like it because it’s very green and natural. Getting my forestry badge has been really good fun.”
Fellow scout Toby Hawker added:
“This has been really good because I’ve got to know a lot about trees.”
Toby Bowen-Scott, one of the Haldon Forest Park Managers said:
“We were really delighted when the scouts said they wanted to come to Haldon and work towards their forestry badge. Tim our Community Ranger did an excellent job explaining the process to them and they all enjoyed being part of planting this tree which will stand proudly at Haldon for years to come. It is great to see young people out and about in the forest and learning about their natural environment – who knows we may have inspired some to pursue a career in forestry when they’re older!”
Haldon Forest Park is just 15 minutes from the centre of Exeter. As well as a working forest , that produces around 15000 tonnes of timber each year, it is also a very popular site for leisure activities and has over 40km of walking and cycling trails to suit all abilities. It is home to Go Ape, Segway Southwest and Forest Cycle Hire and the Ridge Café is open every day serving a range of delicious, locally sourced food and drink.
Tim Powles is the Community Ranger for the whole of the South Devon area, which includes Haldon, Bellever Forest on Dartmoor and Stoke Woods near Exeter. If you would like to contact him about any community projects please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contact – Kirstie Smith – 01392 834249 email@example.com