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Our latest planting projects


Forest for Cornwall supports a huge range of projects. Here is a small sample of the work that the team have been doing with communities, organisations, farmers and landholders. 

Woodland Creation:

We have supported many farmers and landholders to access the Forestry Commission’s England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) funding. This is for larger planting projects of more than one hectare in total. Court Farm is an example of one of these projects that has been successfully funded:

Court Farm is home to Philleigh Way Woods, and is on the banks of the beautiful Fal Estuary. The owners have used EWCO funding to increase these historically important oak woodlands. The funding will also support the farm businesses and provide public access.

Farmer, James Martin says: 'Forest for Cornwall has been instrumental in helping us to manage the complex EWCO grant application process. It has enabled us to plant our 14 hectares of new woodland. This planting will provide public access to a very special area of the county. It will also create footfall for our proposed farm diversification projects. They have funded consultants to assist with the EWCO application.  They have also provided support, guidance and separate funding for the creation of our own orchard. This will facilitate courses at our on-site cookery school'.

Agroforestry 

Forest for Cornwall have already supported many farms across the county. This includes consultancy expertise, site design and funding. These projects combine trees with current farming practices and production. One of the very first to approach us for this support was Rosuick Farm.

Rosuick Farm is an organic mixed arable, cattle and sheep farm situated on the Lizard peninsula. Dave Oates, the seventh-generation farmer at Rosuick, designed the project with the help of a consultant. This included making sure that the future objectives he has for the farm are met. During the winter of 2023/24, Forest for Cornwall have funded 25 hectares of agroforestry planting at Rosuick, including:

  • alleys of fruit and nut crops
  • trees for shelter
  • new hedgerows
  • parkland trees for timber production

Dave Oates commented: "For many years I have wanted to plant more trees on my farm to create future income potential. This, with the higher welfare for my animals and increase in total food production on my land, is a win. Forest for Cornwall have helped every step of the way to make a vision a reality and I'm thankful for their support. " 

Planting at Rosuick Farm

Small Scale Projects:

Coombeshead Farm, based near Lewannick is a small mixed farm using their own produce to supply their farm shop and restaurant. Since 2022 they have been establishing new fruit alleys.  They have also been expanding hedgerows to increase shelter for livestock and vegetable growing areas. They also took the opportunity to replace in-field trees in the historic parkland that had been lost to storms and time. The planting has been planned to enhance the productivity of the farm business. 

 Coombeshead Farm park planting

Partnership Projects:

The Wilding Mother Orchard is a new project on The Lizard.  It was created in partnership with Some Interesting Apples and the National Trust, with funding from Forest for Cornwall. 

Some Interesting Apples is a project launched in 2019 which aims to record and preserve wild apple trees. These have often grown from discarded apple cores. Trees are selected that demonstrate the most desirable features. Having grown and often thrived in difficult growing conditions, these trees present an opportunity to propagate hardy new cultivars. These apple varieties may be more resilient and better adapted to future climates than many heritage varieties. 

This project aims to establish an orchard that will be home to 80 of these unique apple trees. The University of Exeter have supported the planning and labelling of the orchard. The university's DEES Strategic Research Fund will support future research at the site. It will work with the University of Exeter and Falmouth to research the genetic characteristics of the apples. If successful, this innovative project could prove to be of vital importance to the future of viable fruit trees for Cornwall.  

Community Spaces:

Bodmin Beacon is a 7 hectare site which is owned by Cornwall Council. The site sits between Whitestone, Gladstone and Bawden Roads in the town of Bodmin. Historically the land has been let to tenant farmers and used for grassland and cereal crops. Recent changes have provided an opportunity for Cornwall Council to create a new woodland on this land with public access. A mixture of trees and shrubs are being planted and a community recreational space is being created. The new woodland will connect and expand existing woodland and hedgerow habitats across the nature reserve and the surrounding land.  There are also wide paths and open glades to encourage a good range of wildlife. A diverse range of trees are being planted including Beech, Oak, Small Leaved Lime, Birch, Alder, Wild Cherry, and Hazel 

Planting at Bodmin Beacon

Street Trees:

Forest For Cornwall has ambitious plans to bring more street trees to urban and residential areas across Cornwall.  The current recommended minimum average urban tree cover in towns and cities in the UK is 20%, and in coastal locations it’s 15%. Many areas in Cornwall fall well below these recommendations. Planting more trees will help us adapt to climate change and the changing environment. Trees in urban areas have a range of benefits to people and place. For example, being close to trees improves our mental and physical well-being. Trees also:

  • improve air quality
  • provide shade and shelter
  • reduce surface water flooding
  • provide wildlife habitat
  • support biodiversity

The Forestry Commission’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund has allowed Forest for Cornwall to focus on planting trees in areas of particularly low canopy cover. Over the course of the next two years 470 urban trees will be planted through this project.

Callington volunteers

Mini Forests

A mini forest is an adaptation of the Miyawaki method of creating small woodlands, by enriching the soil and planting trees closer together.  The trees grow much faster and show an increase in biodiversity. The Forest for Cornwall approach to mini forests included the use of larger container grown trees rather than whips.  This provided an instant woodland feel to new plantings. These have been popular with:

  • schools (St Ives, Camelford, Stithians, Coverack and Nanslow) and
  • local communities

Both Tregrehan and Falmouth have a mini forest in a public open space.

Community Orchards

Community orchards have seen a revival as many people are keen to see old Cornish apple varieties back in the landscape. Cornwall lost most of its orchard heritage through neglect or removal.  Through the Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund a number of new community orchards have been planted. These include sites at Redruth, Padstow, Paul, Wadebridge, Truro and Treverbyn. All of them consist of local Cornish apple varieties and will now provide places for community events such as Wassailing, and Apple Days. A number of training events have been hosted, with the expertise from Resilient Orchards Cornwall.  These events teach people how to manage and maintain young and established orchard trees. 

Community Tree Nurseries

Community tree nurseries are a great way to produce Cornish trees from seeds collected in Cornwall. Seeds from local trees will produce trees that are better suited to our local climate. Forest For Cornwall has been supporting the set up of community tree nurseries at Kehelland, Bolghen, Gaia Trust and Emmaus. This has been funded by the Woodland Trusts Emergency Tree Fund and Defra’s Shared Outcome Fund. These nurseries all work with local volunteers and they have been very successful in bringing people back to work and closer to nature. 

Volunteers at Bolghen Nursery

Back Garden Forest

Through funding from the Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund over 13,000 trees have been give out over the last 2 years.  They have been given to local residents to plant in their front or back garden.  This will increase tree canopy cover locally, especially in urban areas such as

  • Redruth
  • Camborne
  • Penzance
  • Newquay
  • Bude and
  • St Austell

We hope to continue this project in the winter of 2024/25.

 

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