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Volunteers are needed to plant 2,200 new trees in East Devon.

The trees will be planted at Mosshayne Farm on Friday 15th February and Saturday 16th February. If you can lend a hand, please contact Jon Freeman by emailing jfreeman@eastdevon.gov.uk.

East Devon District Council’s project officers for Great Trees in the Clyst Valley helped farmer Henry Gent sign up to the Woodland Trust’s MOREWoods scheme. The Woodland Trust provide the trees, expertise and a tailored plan. The tree-planting will create new environmentally-friendly woodland at Mosshayne Farm in the Clyst Valley.

Jon Freeman from Great Trees in the Clyst Valley said:

If you would like to help with planting this magnificent number of trees, please let me know. The planting sessions will be fun, social activities and so come along and help, as many hands make light work!

Cllr Tom Wright, East Devon’s portfolio holder for the Environment, said:

This is amazing news for our residents and our environment.

Trees are important for lots of reasons: They produce the very oxygen we need to breathe. They clean and cool the air. They provide home, habitat and food for hundreds of species of wildlife. Their roots help to prevent soil erosion and help prevent flooding. They provide valuable wood. They also look lovely, and spending time amongst trees can actually improve your health. All of these mean that this woodland creation is good news for the Clyst Valley and East Devon.

There is nothing more soothing than hearing the wind through the trees.

Mr Gent said:

We will be planting the 2200 native trees with the help of the “Great Trees in the Clyst Valley” volunteers this month. A thousand of these saplings will be English oak, a truly iconic tree of our landscape. The rest will be a mix of native woodland species carefully selected for the sites where they will be planted.

Mick Bracken from The Woodland Trust said:

Trees bring so many different benefits that if they didn’t exist we’d have to invent them. We are delighted Mr Gent has signed up to our flagship woodland creation scheme.  We hope the sight of so many saplings going in the ground will encourage others to plant trees as well, which in the long term will help to greatly improve the water quality in the river Clyst as bringing much-welcome structural habitat diversity to an otherwise flat agricultural valley.

Planting trees has always been important but it’s particularly vital at the moment. Not only is the UK the least wooded country in Europe with tree cover at just 12 per cent, but disease is killing our ash trees. Ash dieback is expected to be devastating so we need to plant a range of native broadleaf species to make our landscape more resilient.