Head forester Stephen Coffey reports on progress. Wow, what a long planting season we’ve had. We started in the last week of November and finished in the third week of April – which meant we could plant over 140,000 trees and create a further 314 acres of new native broadleaved woodland.
Last autumn and over the winter months, ecological consultants Rainsbrook Ecology carried out a bird survey across the 2,900 acres that currently make up the Heart of England Forest.
The aim was to compile a species list for each area of the forest, to show the variety of birds visiting, how they are distributed and their breeding behaviour.
Gary Kirkpatrick has been involved with the Heart of England Forest since last summer, when he was introduced to the forestry team through his Recovery Career Service director. An ex-Army Officer, Gary was seriously injured in training in 2006. After three years in military rehab, Gary started attending Tedworth House, a recovery centre run by Help For Heroes, and it was from here that he took his first visit to the forest – and started to realise the incredible restorative powers of the trees.
The environmental legacy of Felix Dennis, one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs, poets and planter of trees, was recently honoured at a North Yorkshire community woodland.
Founder of the Heart of England Forest charity, Felix Dennis, who died last year, was a strong supporter of the pioneering Three Hagges Jubilee Wood at Escrick, near York.