Two thousand new trees are being planted at West Earlham Woods this month to boost biodiversity.
Small trees such as hawthorn, guelder rose, hazel and plum are being planted in an area of the woodland that was cleared earlier this year of several unsafe sycamore trees.
Norwich City Council has purchased the trees using Section 106 funding, and the project is being managed by the Norwich Fringe Project. The planting is being carried out by volunteers from The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and The Friends of West Earlham Woods.
Norwich City Council councillor Matthew Packer, cabinet member for parks and open spaces said:
“Maintaining and enhancing the biodiversity of our green spaces in Norwich is key to protecting our environment, and planting new trees is a nature-based solution to climate change and boosting wellbeing.
“By introducing these tree species, we can manage their growth and the age structure of the woodland, which in turn will create new habitats, nectar and food sources, as well as nesting sites for birds and other wildlife.
“This work is in addition to the nine-hundred larger tree species planted in March this year in another area of the woodland.
“A special thank you to all the volunteers for their hard work to protect and enhance this green space in our city.”
Mark Webster, Project Officer at The Conservation Volunteers, said:
“We have a wide range of volunteers on our Norwich Environmental Action Team, and I think they’ve all been looking forward to working on this project for a long time.
“We run conservation activities at least three times a week in Norwich, and many of these are helping to look after green spaces owned by Norwich City Council, but tree planting is always one of our favourites.”
Noel Debbage from the Friends of West Earlham Woods, said:
“The work carried out earlier this year has increased light onto the woodland floor, and we’re hoping for even better flowering this spring, including the carpet of beautiful bluebells. We’ve already seen an increase in wild garlic which is great.
“The smaller woodland edge trees being planted will make the area even more attractive - not just to us but to all the insects that like flowers, and all the birds that like insects!
“It’s more important than ever that we preserve and enhance our green heritage across the city.”
The trees are being planted in the Bunkers Hill woodland area, which is part of West Earlham Woods. Pathway maintenance work is also being carried out over the next few months to improve the accessibility of the area.
In 2017, West Earlham Woods, which is made up of Bunkers Hill and Twenty Acre Wood, was designated as a local nature reserve (LNR). The status offers strong legal protection to sites and the wildlife they contain and help to raise their profile.
The status was granted by the city council’s cabinet following the passionate proposals of local group, Friends of West Earlham Woods.
Friends of West Earlham Woods are a group of local volunteers who organise volunteer days and events in Bunkers Hill and Twenty Acre Wood, to find out more about how you can get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about The Conservation Volunteers visit their website https://www.tcv.org.uk/