Nearly 10,000 saplings are being planted this winter in 6 locations across Devon through a scheme organised by Devon Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust

Twenty-five species, all native to Devon have been distributed to landowners in the upstream catchments of the rivers Dart, Yeo, Tamar, Otter, lower down the Exe and around Fernworthy Reservoir on Dartmoor. Working Wetlands, a Devon Wildlife Trust project supported by Upstream Thinking, have been working with these landowners for 5 years.

As well as concentrating on specific parts of Devon, the planting project will also target key places where the new trees can have the greatest impact. Trees and hedgerows store carbon, reduce soil erosion and provide shelter and food for wildlife.

Hedgerows are particularly important for a variety of wildlife. As well as providing shelter they create corridors for wildlife to move through and also offer natural flood management by intercepting rainfall. The roots of the oak, hawthorn and hazel trees will stabilise the soil, reducing soil loss by water erosion. Trees also slow the movement of water from land to river, reducing flood risk and benefitting downstream communities.

How is this helping Devon reach net-zero?

Action F1.2: As part of the Land Use Framework, and underpinned by the Nature Recovery Network, identify opportunities to implement a Trees for Devon initiative.

This project is helping to achieve two goals in the Devon Carbon Plan to restore and enhance habitats and soils so they fulfil their natural carbon sequestration potential and ensure farmers and land managers are aware of the options available for helping meet net-zero on their lands. Supporting landowners in upstream areas to improve tree coverage helps increase the flood resilience of downstream communities as well as providing long-term carbon stores, helping Devon both adapt and mitigate climate change.