A major community woodland project is underway in Wembury.

Woods are being created as part of the Devon Community forest and large numbers of oaks and other native trees have been planted near the banks of the River Yealm.

National Trust Countryside Manage Richard Snow said: “A new approach will mean planting thousands of trees to form new woodlands and wood pasture where cattle can graze under a woodland canopy. Hedgerows will flourish to become homes and corridors for animals connecting isolated habitats.

Fields, which were previously a single crop treated with chemicals, will become a riot of colour with species rich grasslands and wildflower meadows.”

It will provide a habitat for hares, owls, woodcocks and butterflies.

The plan is to expand the existing 36 hectares (89 acres) of woodland by 84 more hectares(208 acres) with 90,000 new trees along with two and a half miles of new hedgerows and banks added.

UK woodland currently stands at 13 per cent and this needs to increase to 19 per cent to meet the UK’s carbon net zero target by 2050.

Planting took place earlier this month at Wembury Barton Farm where 25 species of tree, especially oak are being planted.

The National Trust cares for nearly 6km of coast at Wembury including beaches, farmland and woods. In 2021, they embarked on a project to restore the natural environment at Wembury. From creating different habitats for wildlife to improving accessibility for visitors.

The Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest will stretch from the heart of Plymouth to the edge of the moor, encompassing 1,900 hectares of land to form a mosaic of different forest habitats.

Unlike traditional forests, community forests aren’t geographically restricted to one place. Instead, they are a spread out across a mix of community woodland, private woodland, on street, urban woodland, wooded habitat corridors and hedgerows.

It is envisaged that by connecting the rich ecosystems and habitats of Dartmoor and the wider South Devon area and bringing them into the city they can improve our connection to, and enjoyment of nature for future generations.