More than 14,000 trees to be planted near Telford in bid to boost wildlife

More than 14,000 trees will be planted near Telford in a scheme which hopes to provide a boost for wildlife.

Alexander Newport with Vince Derry, head groundsman
Alexander Newport with Vince Derry, head groundsman

Bradford Estates is set to plant the trees to create a mile of new hedgerow along the A41.

The saplings, all UK grown and native to the British Isles, will include hawthorn, hazel, hornbeam, field maple, dog rose, holly, oak and beech.

It is hoped the new hedgerow will increase biodiversity and will provide a rich habitat for birds, small mammals and other wildlife.

The trees have been supplied by water and waste company Severn Trent as part of its ambitious pledge to plant more than one million trees in six years.

Bradford Estates managing director, Alexander Newport, said the new trees formed part of his plans to transform the way the estates was run to ensure it had a sustainable future.

“We’re working hard across the estates to increase sustainability and biodiversity, and these trees will help with that ambition,” he said.

“Creating the mile of hedgerow will not only provide screening between the A41 and the fields beyond, but they will also provide a welcome habitat for small mammals, birds and insects.”

Bradford Estates recently launched a bold new environmentally-conscious plan to change the way its 3,600 acre in-hand farming business is managed, to ensure it has a healthy legacy for generations to come.

New farming practices will be adopted across the estates, including increasing ground cover crops and introducing grazing animals to reduce the need for fertilisers, direct drilling into the soil to plant crops instead of invasive tilling to reduce CO2 emissions, and ensuring habitats are created for natural insect predators such as ladybirds and starlings to reduce the need for chemical pesticides.

Proud

“The biodiversity boost that the new hedgerow will bring should help to ensure the new regenerative practices we’re introducing across our farmland stand the best chance of success,” Alexander added.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Severn Trent for working with us to provide the saplings for the project via it’s Great Big Nature Boost project.”

Severn Trent’s Great Big Nature Boost is an ambitious scheme launched back in September, which includes plans to revive over 5,000 hectares of land, plant 1.3 million trees and restore 2,000km of rivers across the Severn Trent region by 2027.

Jodie Rettino, catchment management and biodiversity business lead, at Severn Trent, said: “We’re proud to work alongside Bradford Estates on this exciting project, which we’re supporting through our Great Big Nature Boost scheme.

“Planting 14,000 new trees will have a huge impact on the area’s biodiversity for years to come and improve water quality at the same time, because when we look after nature, we look after water too.”

Severn Trent has recently made extra funding available for communities who want to boost biodiversity across the region.

The water and waste company is inviting individuals, community groups and businesses to apply for a share of £250,000 for projects that’ll improve nature in their local environment.

This stand-alone pot of money is available for a limited time, to help support community-based nature projects across the Midlands that may have got into financial difficulty because of the pandemic.

The scale of each project must be over half a hectare – roughly half the size of a rugby pitch – and must be completed by March 31.

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