Image - Rob Carmier

New woodlands in the right locations can maximise these benefits.  This is why the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan committed to a national Nature Recovery Network, drawing from local strategies and data.

This Nature Recovery Network will map out the best locations to create and restore wildlife-rich habitats to act as corridors and stepping stones to help our wildlife populations to grow and move.  As we are facing an ecological emergency, creating woodlands within a Nature Recovery Network, where possible, creates the maximum benefits for nature’s recovery.  Regional networks and strategies are developed by local partnerships, such as the West of England Nature Partnership. These help to inform regional tree planting plans such as the Forest of Avon Plan and also feed into local Council woodland creation planning.  This data all helps to identify priority areas for woodland creation.  Avon Needs Trees carefully considers these information sources when choosing sites for our new, permanent woodlands.

Tree guards in the field at Stanley Lane

Image - Daisy Brasington

Site selection

Our sites are carefully scoped using the latest digital mapping tools. Once a potential site has been chosen then on-site surveys are conducted to ground truth records and consultation with the necessary bodies to make sure the site is truly suitable for woodland creation and fits with organisational and regional policies.

Elder Saplings in the nursery at Stanley Lane

Image - Daisy Brasington

Species choice

Tree species are chosen based on site conditions now and what the site and climate might be like in the future. We use industry-standard climate modelling tools to assess species suitability to 2080. Where possible and appropriate, we include areas of natural regeneration, allowing local seed and nature to do some of the heavy lifting.

Icebergs adrift at sea

Photo by Melissa Bradley on Unsplash

Climate change

We need trees to fight the climate crisis, and we need a lot of them! Yet climate change poses a threat to our future trees and the decisions we take now can impact the success and health of our future woodlands. We use the latest guidence and science to assess species and site suitability and build this into our planning. This is an ever-changing world and we always keep our eyes open to new ways of thinking and working to address humanity’s biggest threat.