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More than 50,000 trees are to be planted at Crowthorne and Bramshill Forests in north Hampshire this winter as part of an extensive nature conservation project.
The planting, which is vital to sustainable forestry and in helping to combat climate change, is the first phase of a programme across the South East that will lead to over quarter of a million trees being planted during the next few months.
The first of these trees will be at Crowthorne Forest, where 10,000 Scots Pine are to replace those that have been harvested for the production of sustainable timber for fencing, pallets, cladding, gates, wood for fuel and construction.
An additional 40,000 trees are destined for Bramshill in the New Year, including sites where gravel was extracted when it operated as a quarry.
The area is part of the internationally important Thames Basin Special Protection Area, designated because three rare European birds breed there - Dartford warbler, woodlark and nightjar. The rotational system of cutting down trees and then planting new trees to replace them provides these birds with a valuable ground nesting habitat.
Nick Hazlitt, beat forester, said:
“Some people are understandably concerned when they see trees being cut down. But this is fine when it's part of a programme of managing and caring for woodlands that ensures the trees are replaced. Here at Bramshill the tree felling supports rare birds maintaining the breeding habitat in a secure sustainable way. The wood that is cut provides a sustainable resource and indeed the selling of timber funds much of the Forestry Commission’s nature conservation work.
“The 50,000 trees being planted here this season will help further towards absorbing carbon dioxide, removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and helping to mitigate climate change.”
On 25 November, the first national assessment of UK forestry and climate change report was published (“Combating Climate Change – A Role for UK Forests”). The Forestry Commission’s Forest Research arm played an important role in delivering the report, which is believed to be the first national study of its type in the world.
The report revealed that if an extra four per cent of the United Kingdom’s land was planted with new woodland over the next 40 years, it could be locking up ten per cent of the nation’s predicted greenhouse gas emissions by the 2050s.
This programme at Crowthorne and Bramshill is going some way to achieving that vision.
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The Forestry Commission has helped to more than double woodland cover in the UK since the beginning of the 20th Century.
2. This winter the Forestry Commission is planting over six million trees in England.
3. The Forestry Commission manages over 250,000 hectares (600,000 acres) of woodlands in England. Most of this land is open for public access and the Commission is the largest provider of countryside recreation in the country. For further information visit www.forestry.gov.uk/southeastengland.
4. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.
Nick Hazlitt, Beat Forester, Forestry Commission, tel 01962 795079, mob 07900 137177, email email@example.com