The Heart of Churston Woods to be Replanted

The Heart of Churston Woods to be Replanted

Published: 27 November 2017

Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, working with the Woodland Trust, is planning for tree replanting at Churston Woods, after a significant number of Larch and Sweet Chestnut trees, showing signs of disease, were felled earlier this year. 

These diseased trees at two woodlands in Churston - the Grove and Ball Copse, were felled on advice from The Forestry Commission. The disease Phytophthora Ramorum (P.ramorum) was identified in a number of trees following their ground inspections and laboratory sample testing. P.ramorum is a fungus-like microorganism which causes extensive damage and can kill a wide range of trees and other plants. The felling was essential to limit the spread of the disease to other healthy trees and plants. 

The replanting plan will enable the Trust to apply for initial grant funding of £10,000 from the Forestry Commission to go towards the project. As managers of Churston Woods, Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust is keen to start the restoration this winter. The aim is to replant the cleared areas of the woods with suitable native trees (including oak, beech and field maple) and shrubs, which together with managed natural regeneration, will enable this ancient semi-natural woodland to re-establish.

Recent meetings with the Churston Woods Working Group and Torbay Council have recognised the importance of involving the local community and are keen to offer local schools and community groups the opportunity to help with some tree planting. 

Damian Offer, Director, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust said:
“Involving the local community in the replanting of trees at Churston Woods presents a really meaningful and unique opportunity for schools and groups to be involved in the creation of a new landscape for woodland and wildlife.  Please do get in touch with us at the Trust if you would like to find out more”.  

Planting is scheduled to start in January next year and due to finish at the end of February. The total cost of the replanting is estimated to be approximately £21,000, which includes a 5 year maintenance plan. With funding from the Forestry Commission and £6,000 from Torbay Council, raised from the proceeds of the felling, there is likely to be shortfall of £5,000. The Group are hoping to raise this through charitable crowd funding. The crowdfunding project is currently being developed and details will be announced very soon. Any assistance offered by the community to help promote and raise funds for this worthwhile project would be welcomed. If you would like to help, raise money or contribute please do contact us: [email protected] 

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