Tree planting at the Budleigh Community Orchard with the Countryside team last winter.

Get involved with the Countryside team

East Devon District Council’s Countryside team are gearing up for National Tree week which marks the start of the winter tree planting season.

Teams of volunteers will be working throughout the event week at Seaton Wetlands – from Saturday 26 November to Sunday 4 December – to prepare for the planting of new trees at Honiton Bottom and later in the month, at Knapp Copse.

People interested in volunteering as part of National Tree Week are encouraged to join the East Devon Conservation volunteers and Countryside Rangers on Thursday 8 December from 10am to 3pm for a day of tree planting on the stunning Roncombe Valley. The group will meet at Knapp Copse car park (SY 155 957). No booking is needed but volunteers are reminded to bring warm clothes, sturdy footwear and a packed lunch.

The East Devon District Council Countryside team manages woodland sites and works with local communities in orchards throughout the year. From Apple pressing days, tree planting, practical management and community orchard days there is lots of get involved with.

As well as planting trees and managing woodland for the benefit of local wildlife, the management plan of some nature reserves actually involves thinning out woodland. At Holyford Woods the Countryside Rangers and volunteers have been thinning out a block of mixed woodland and removing conifers. This process allows for natural regeneration of deciduous woodland which provides better habitats for wildlife.

Cllr Iain Chubb, environment portfolio holder for East Devon District Council, said:

National Tree Week provides a great chance for people to be inspired to do something positive for their local environment.

By volunteering with local organisations such as the East Devon District Council Countryside team and taking part in tree planting events, it is hoped that nationally around a million trees will be planted during this week, helping to restore our landscapes and provide habitats for wildlife.

Those interested in finding out more about the work of the Countryside team and getting involved with volunteering can visit www.wildeastdevon.co.uk, contact the Countryside team by email countryside@eastdevon.gov.uk or call 01395 517557.