Planting of 100,000 trees to boost Devon’s Temperate Rainforest

Photo: (c) The National Trust

The National Trust is launching an ambitious project to plant 100,000 trees along the north Devon coastline, targeting Exmoor, Woolacombe, and the Arlington Estate. This initiative aims to revitalise the temperate rainforest, a unique and endangered habitat once widespread along Britain's western coast. Factors such as air pollution and invasive species have led to its decline, prompting a 50-hectare habitat restoration to conserve rare ferns, pine martens, and biodiversity crucial for climate change mitigation. By enhancing the landscape and making it wilder, woodier, and wetter the goal is to also improve access to nature for local communities. 

The temperate rainforest's consistently wet climate supports diverse flora and fauna, playing a vital role in the fight against climate change. The project includes planting 50,000 trees at Arlington Court, 38,000 on Exmoor, and 20,000 at Woolacombe/Hartland, with future phases planned. Local community groups, including schools, will actively participate in tree planting. John Deakin, head of trees and woodlands at the National Trust, emphasises the urgency, as temperate rainforests now cover only 1% of Britain. Some north Devon woodlands house the entire global population of rare species, such as the Devon whitebeam, underscoring the critical need for conservation.

The National Trust's commitment is evident through its Plant a Tree fund, launched in 2020. With 51 completed projects and over one million trees planted, the initiative reflects the organisation's dedication to environmental sustainability and habitat restoration.

Photo: (c) The National Trust


Author: Sylvia Jacobs

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