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The Devon Local Nature Partnership has recently adopted Devon’s first Tree and Woodland Strategy. The aim of this strategy is to protect and enhance the county’s tree and woodland resources, including those in Plymouth and Torbay, until 2050. By 2030, the goal is to increase the area covered with trees and woodlands by 3000 hectares. This would increase Devon’s tree cover from 14% to 16.5%, which is in line with the national target set for the UK. Notably, the strategy underscores the substantial worth of Devon’s woodland resources, estimated at £359.5 million, encompassing their contributions to climate regulation, flood control, air quality improvement, and recreational benefits for physical and mental well-being.

The strategy aspires to expand, safeguard, enhance, inspire, and enact initiatives for Devon’s trees, from its Temperate Rainforest to orchards and hedgerows. It acknowledges the pressing challenges of climate change, advocating for actions to bolster the resilience and adaptability of Devon’s cherished trees and woodlands. Collaboration among partners is emphasised as crucial in combating climate change and fostering a healthier natural environment across Devon, Plymouth, and Torbay, with robust woodlands and trees capable of accruing greater value amid an uncertain future.

Professor Michael Winter OBE, Chair of Devon Local Nature Partnership, commended the collaborative effort behind the strategy, noting its significance in understanding and prioritising Devon’s tree, hedge, and woodland assets. Funded by the Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund and supported by various Devon-based organisations, including councils, the Forestry Commission, and National Landscapes, the plan endeavours to fortify Devon’s resilience for the benefit of its people, nature, and climate. Efforts are underway to engage different districts, unitaries, and partners to align with the strategy’s objectives.

Read more on the Devon County Council website.

How Is This Helping Devon Reach Net-Zero?   

Action: F15. Design and implement a Trees for Devon initiative.

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