Thousands of trees planted across North Somerset as part of rewilding scheme

269 trees were planted at Hutton Moor on February 19

Volunteers helped to plant 269 trees at Hutton Moor in February 2020. - Credit: Archant

Another 15,000 trees have been planted at locations across North Somerset this winter as part of North Somerset Council's ambitious rewilding programme.

Due to lockdown restrictions, volunteers were unable to get involved, and the council carried out the planting with the help of its contractors Glendale.

A total of 20,000 young trees, called 'whips', have now been planted as part of the council's commitment to rewild areas of North Somerset to help tackle the climate and nature emergency.

The council's aim is to plant 50,000 trees creating 25 hectares of new woodland. It also wants to create around 40 hectares of tall grass areas to encourage wildlife.

More: New forests and tall grass sites planned in rewilding project.

The authority introduced around 15-20 hectares last summer resulting in a good range of grass species and associated flower species. A few small locations will be added this year with the rest of the sites to follow next year.

The aim of the rewilding scheme is to create more habitats for wildlife to flourish and increase biodiversity, to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

Cllr Mike Solomon, the council's executive member for neighbourhoods and community services, said: "To plant 15,000 trees this winter was a huge undertaking given that we were unable to work with volunteers and community groups due to the Covid restrictions in place.

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"Now lockdown restrictions are easing, we are looking forward to welcoming volunteers back with us."   

The council is looking at ways volunteers can help with the rewilding scheme in a Covid secure way, and it is likely to run volunteer sessions on a pre-registration basis.

These sessions will focus on the immediate aftercare of the whips, including carrying out weeding and mulching and general monitoring and tidying of the sites. They will also involve carrying out wildlife and plant surveys of the tall grass areas.

The council will also be looking for rewilding champions to help lead on the ongoing care of the new woodland and tall grass areas.

Anyone interested in getting involved can find out more by logging on to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rewilding or the Facebook group Nature and Climate North Somerset.

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