Arboretum volunteers have teamed up with the National Trust to plant more than 700 young whips as part of a wildlife corridor on Combe Wood Farm, Salcombe Regis.

The Briefing

Hard at work

Friday 9th December  saw the first step in Sidmouth Arboretum’s response to the challenge from Sidmouth Town Council to plant 14,000 young trees in the valley by 2026, one for every resident.  The National Trust is planting wildlife corridors on Combe Wood Farm in Salcombe Regis.  These are bands of new young woodland that stretch across the valley to link the areas of existing woodland on the hilltops east and west of the valley.  These corridors will allow wildlife such as small birds, insects and small mammals, including bats, to move around the farm and mix with other populations, a vital requirement of breeding a healthy population.

Twenty one volunteer supporters of the Arboretum braved the frosty morning to meet at the National Trust car park on Salcombe Hill and then walked down to the planting site in the floor of the valley between the Combe Wood and South Combe farmhouses.  They were met by the National Trust rangers led by Lucy Buckingham who set out how and where the young trees were to be planted.  They were joined by Carl Harrison, the latest member of the EDDC Tree Team who came along to meet the volunteers and to help plant the trees.

It took a full two hours to plant all the trees across two areas totalling half a hectare or just over an acre.  The very stony ground slowed things down but the volunteers persevered, perhaps spurred on by the six robins who flew in to take advantage of the worms and insects being turned up.

Any more worms?

There are four other sites on the farm that will be planted in the coming months and the Arboretum volunteers will hope to be giving a hand.  In the meantime, The Arboretum will be working with the Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth College and EDDC to plant another 800 young trees in Sidmouth before the end of the planting season next March.


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