MORE than 23,000 trees are being planted this winter across the South Downs National Park in an attempt to help wildlife flourish.

As National Tree Week gets underway, scores of trees will be planted at 20 new sites across Hampshire and Sussex.

In the Winchester area, they include Compton, Twyford, Alresford and Chilcomb.

It will be a step forward for the Trees for the Downs campaign, as it nears its target of planting 100,000 trees across the region. The initiative was launched four years ago, and the new planting phase will mean more than 60,000 new trees across 114 different sites.

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The tree planting will restore those lost to pests and diseases, including Ash Dieback and Dutch Elm Disease, as well as create new habitat for wildlife and amenity for local communities. The trees are a mixture of disease-resistant elms and native species, such as oak and black poplar.

Hampshire Chronicle: More than 23,000 trees will be planted during the new round of plantingMore than 23,000 trees will be planted during the new round of planting (Image: Sam Moore)The planting has been made possible by donations from the public and businesses to the South Downs National Park Trust, the official independent charity for the national park. A boost came from The American Express Foundation’s grant to National Parks UK, part of which went to Trees for the Downs and meant 5,000 trees could be planted.

Nick Heasman, a Countryside and Policy Manager for the national park, said: “By the end of this winter, we’ll have planted over 60,000 trees as part of Trees for the Downs and it’s something we can all be proud of. None of it would have been possible without the support of local communities and businesses who have gone the extra mile to give back to nature and I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’.

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“Trees for the Downs is a key part of the National Park’s inspiring ReNature drive, which is seeking to create thousands of hectares of new wildlife havens to help nature bounce back and it continues to go from strength to strength.”

Cllr Chris Corcoran, from Twyford Parish Council, said: “When a group of Twyford residents signed up to support tree planting in the village Twyford Parish Council stepped forward to help.  It proposed an avenue along the Shawford Road with a clump at the end, at one of the entrances into the National Park.  The Trees for the Downs initiative has been the perfect partner. It raises the profile, ensures we are planting the right trees in the right places, and supplies the 30 trees we need.”

The sites in Hampshire are:

Bough Wood, Clanfield

Chilcomb Stud, Chilcomb

Church Field St John Trust, Greatham

Compton County Farm Estate, Compton

Manor Farm, Alresford

Marden Farm, South Harting

Mingledown Plantation, Chawton

Park  Gateway: The Queens clump and Avenue, Twyford

Whitelands Wood, Weston, Petersfield

Woodingdean Wilderness Group, Woodingdean

Woodlands Farm,  Patching



To donate to Trees for the Downs visit!/.