Forests, woodlands, hedges, and individual trees shape the character of the Devon countryside. Ours is the most wooded county in the South West and boasts the longest hedgerow network in the country. Woods and hedgerows are a key feature of our five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and two National Parks. The upland oak woods of Dartmoor and Exmoor are of international importance for their wildlife.
Trees are of huge environmental, social and economic value. They provide benefits including improving biodiversity, sequestering carbon, climate regulation, improved air and water quality, reduced flood risk, timber, and wood fuel. People have an innate connection to woodlands and trees, and they are highly valued for their beauty, wildlife, heritage, and cultural associations. There is also growing recognition among decision-makers that access to woodlands provides mental and physical health. All these benefits provide incentives for us to tackle the challenges faced by trees and woodlands, for example: lack of management, climate change, competition with invasive species, disease and damage from deer and squirrels.
We believe in protecting, expanding, and restoring woodland. Our vision is for Devon’s trees, woodlands and hedges to be sustainably managed and rich in wildlife through being re-connected to local communities and the local economy.
Board lead: Ross Kennerley, Woodland Trust
Steering group lead: Rosie Walker, Woodland Trust
Devon Tree and Woodland Strategy
The current focus for Trees for Devon is the development of the Devon Tree and Woodland Strategy. The Woodland Trust is working closely with Devon County Council and the Devon Tree Strategy Steering Group to develop the strategy. The tree strategy is currently in the drafting and review phase of development. It is expected that the strategy will be ready in Autumn 2023
Read our Right Place Right Tree guidance to support woodland creation across Devon.
See our Trees and Hedges pages on the Knowledge Hub – note that these pages are in development.