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Creating new woodland at Panshanger Park

Panshanger Park

Hertfordshire residents invited to join series of tree planting events at Tarmac-owned site

LOCAL residents are being encouraged to get digging at a series of tree planting days, as part of Panshanger Park’s contribution to the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.

Designed to create a living legacy in Her Majesty’s name, a new public woodland is set to be created at the Hertford-based park through the project and will include a total of 17,000 trees. The land set aside for the project will help to restore woodland areas and parkland in the northern part of the park, which is currently used for arable farming.

Park owners Tarmac worked with partners Hertfordshire County Council, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, and Maydencroft to develop the woodland design, with additional advice sought from Historic England, Natural England, and Hertfordshire Gardens Trust.

In total, 19 native species of tree and shrubs will be planted, including oak, hornbeam, Scots pine, wild cherry, holly, and hawthorn. There are also plans to include a wildflower meadow and ponds, creating a variety of habitats for wildlife.

From schools and businesses, to families and individuals, locals are being encouraged to play their part in creating the new woodland. The public tree planting events begin on 10 December and finish on 20 January next year, with the project due for completion by March 2023.

Michael Charlton, estates manager at Tarmac, said: ‘The tree planting sessions are a wonderful opportunity for local people to pay their respects to Her Majesty, while helping to create a new woodland for the whole community to enjoy.

‘By increasing the number of trees at the park, we are also absorbing carbon within the atmosphere and improving biodiversity locally – so this is a chance to be part of something really special.’

Jo Whitaker, Panshanger Park’s people and wildlife officer at Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, said: ‘We’re thrilled to see so many individuals, groups, schools, and businesses getting involved and being part of this unique experience to create new woodland.

‘Getting outside in nature provides a much-needed boost for our physical and mental well-being – particularly at this time of year when daylight hours are so limited. As well as improving the park’s biodiversity, seeing the woodland develop and walking through the trees in the years to come will be a very special experience for all our visitors.’

Councillor Eric Buckmaster, executive member for the environment at Hertfordshire County Council, said: ‘This new woodland at Panshanger Park is a fantastic example of the kind of partnership working that is required to improve nature in Hertfordshire.

‘I’m really pleased that a number of our staff and councillors will be attending the planting sessions alongside many of our Countryside and Rights of Way volunteers to get these trees into the ground and would encourage as many residents to get involved as possible.’

The planting of the new woodland is being supported by a grant from the Forestry Commission through the England Woodland Creation Offer scheme.

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