Over 4,000 new trees planted in Plymouth as part of community forest initiative

-Credit: (Image: Plymouth City Council)
-Credit: (Image: Plymouth City Council)


With the warmer, dryer weather finally upon us, Plymouth is celebrating planting 4,000 trees since November 2023. Plymouth City Council has planted whips, fruit trees and standards.

They say they have engaged with hundreds of people, young and old, through planting events and improved community and green spaces across the city.

A spokesperson said: "The incredible effort means that over 12,000 trees have been planted across more than 100 sites since 2020, when the Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest was first launched."

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Cllr Tom Briars-Delve, cabinet member for the environment and climate change, said: "This winter's planting schedule was ambitious but our teams have risen to the challenge and done an amazing job against some interesting weather.

"We know how important planting more trees is for our climate, and we know that residents really value them as well. That's why I am especially pleased that so many have been planted with the help of residents and community groups."

Highlights of the planting season were:

  • 34 individual schemes delivered

  • 340 standards planted

  • 83 maiden fruit trees planted

  • 3,758 whips planted

  • 515m of new hedgerow planted

  • 307 people, majority being children aged 3-12, actively engaged in tree planting and maintenance.

All of the new trees will form part of the Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest, which spans the city and areas of the South Hams and Dartmoor. Launched in September 2020, the PSDCF has facilitated the creation of over 171 hectares of new woodland throughout South Devon; that's approx. 121,000 trees

Stretching from the South Devon coast to the rolling landscape of Dartmoor National Park, by April 2026 we aim to have planted a further 300 hectares across our project area, creating a mosaic of orchards, hedgerows, areas of natural regeneration, native broadleaf, and productive woodland.

Unlike traditional forests, the community forest won't be geographically restricted to one place. Instead, it will encompass a mix of community woodland, private woodland, on street, urban woodland, wooded habitat corridors and hedgerows.

Most of the schemes delivered across the city are requested by and codesigned with residents and community groups.

The Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest is a partnership between Plymouth City Council, National Trust, Woodland Trust, Dartmoor National Park, Devon County Council, South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council, and is funded through the DEFRA Nature for Climate fund.

What are whips, standards and maiden fruit trees?

Whips are young and slender trees, often just a few feet tall at the time of planting, you'll be able to recognise these as they are often fit with tubular rabbit and deer guards.

A maiden is a smaller tree, usually three to five foot tall while a standard is a large tree that at the time of planting is already six to ten feet tall, having been grown in a nursery for several years, these require the most aftercare while they establish but offer instant visual impact so are the preferred choice for urban areas such as streets and parks.