Moor Trees celebrate 20 years

Laura White
Laura White

A Dartmoor tree planting charity has celebrated its twentieth birthday. Moor Trees have planted over 90,000 native trees across Devon since 1999 with a small team and with the help of volunteers.

On Saturday 23rd March 2019 a special ceremony was led by Patrons Stephan Harding (a founding member of Schumacher College, Dartington) and Kevin Cox (Chairman of the RSPB).

They were joined by founders of Moor Trees and current trustees, staff and volunteers. On a site near Longdown where Moor Trees have created nearly 10 acres of new woodland in the past two years, they ceremonially planted 20 new trees, one of each broadleaved tree species grown by the charity.

Kevin Cox said, “Trees are a fantastic contributor to increasing biodiversity in the landscape… the more the better.”

Working with local landowners, Moor Trees has planted broadleaf trees on over 200 acres around Dartmoor and the South Hams since 1999.

Volunteers turn out on Sundays throughout the winter months to plant oak, birch, willow, hawthorn, holly and many more, grown especially in nurseries at Dartington and near Diptford from seed collected in the area.

Director Adam Owen said: “It is a great testament to our volunteers and all the landowners who have worked with us that we have reached this milestone. Only 8% of Dartmoor National Park is natural broadleaved woodland and so we will continue to collect seed, grow and plant trees across Dartmoor to protect and enhance our wooded landscape.”

Adam continued “It’s well known that large blocks of joined-up woodland, especially along river valleys, are much more valuable to nature than isolated pockets. We aim to fill in as many of the gaps as possible.”

In its Environment Plan the government has set a target of 11 million trees to be planted in 5 years; Adam hopes that Moor Trees can contribute their share of that target.

He added, “We are constantly looking for landowners on or around Dartmoor who would like new woodland created on their land. There is little or no cost involved, as our volunteers plant all the trees, and we help the owners to secure Natural England grants for such expenses as stakes, guards and fencing.”

Tree planting will resume towards the end of the year and volunteers are always received
gratefully. Moor Trees can be contacted at:

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