We are excited to introduce a new important project we are involved with: Saving Devon’s Treescapes. The project aims to protect, enhance, restore and replace Devon’s iconic treescapes. It is led by Devon Wildlife Trust on behalf of the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum, pulling together a large partnership of organisations. The project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as well as other funders.

The project will engage farmers, landowners, businesses, community groups and schools – with the motto that ‘everyone has a part to play in saving Devon’s treescapes’.  The project is setting up community tree nurseries with the first to be at Meeth Nature Reserve as well as developing a citizen science project encouraging people across Devon to monitor the health of Devon’s treescapes.

Devon’s spectacular landscape of rolling hills, picturesque river valleys, open moorlands and coastline, derives much of its distinctive character from Trees Outside Woodlands (TOWs). These trees are the unsung heroes that create our small copses, orchards, parklands and wood pastures and are connected by the remarkable 53,000km of hedgerows.

Currently, Devon’s treescapes face unprecedented threats. Surveys show that a high proportion of hedge trees are nearing their end of life due to old age or are threatened by tree health issues, such as ash dieback. Outside woodlands, there are an estimated 1.9 million ash trees in Devon and at least 90% of these trees are likely to be lost through ash dieback over the coming years. This project is providing the desperately needed concerted effort towards Saving Devon’s Treescapes.

FWAG is delivering aspects of the farm engagement and advice of the project.

We can offer advisory visits in the target areas (map) to discuss and seek funding for:

  • Management of hedges, in-field and hedge trees, orchards, wood pasture
  • Identifying individual hedge trees and tagging them to allow individual trees to grow up
  • Hedge restoration, planting new hedges and sympathetic hedge management (funded through Countryside Stewardship option and capital items – this year’s deadline is 31st July 2020)
  • Planting small on-farm woodlands (using trees grown in the project’s own nurseries, potentially using project volunteers)
  • 3-2-1 ash replacement formula: planting at least three new trees for every large ash, two for every medium-sized ash and one for every small ash

FWAG will also organise a few workshops and farm walks.

Whilst the project will deliver across the whole of Devon, five target areas have been chosen:

  • South Devon & Torbay
  • Exeter and Cranbrook area
  • Coly Valleys – East Devon AONB
  • Neroche in the Blackdown Hills AONB

Click the map to open a pdf

 

Who wants to help save Devon’s Trees? We are looking forward to hearing from you. Get in touch with Sabine McEwan [email protected] for more information.