DEVON’S first ever Tree and Woodland strategy has been adopted by the Devon Local Nature Partnership to enhance and protect trees and woodlands in the county.

The strategy sets out ambitions for trees, hedges and woodlands from now until 2050.

It plans for the delivery of an additional 3000ha of woodland and trees in Devon by 2030, to help achieve an increase in the county’s tree cover from 14% to 16.5% by 2050, meeting the UK’s national target.

The strategy highlights that Devon’s woodland resources are worth an estimated £359.5 million, according to research by Eunomia Research and Consulting.

This is the estimated value trees have on climate, flood regulation, air quality, and as places to visit for recreation to support physical health and mental wellbeing.

From Devon’s precious Temperate Rainforest to its orchards, hedgerows and mighty oaks, the strategy sets out a vision to expand, protect, improve, inspire and deliver action for them.

The strategy calls for partners to come together to beat climate change, and through its delivery, everyone can help achieve a better natural environment in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay with healthy woodlands and trees which are able to increase in value and provide more in an uncertain future.

Professor Michael Winter OBE, Chair Devon Local Nature Partnership, said: ‘It is excellent to see how many partners came together to produce the strategy from across Devon, Torbay and Plymouth on behalf of the Local Nature Partnership.

‘For the first time we have an overview of Devon’s existing tree, hedge and woodland resources and a clear sense of how vital they are for wildlife, tackling climate change, amenity and timber.

‘The strategy will enable foresters, land managers, communities, developers, planners and nature restorers to work towards a common goal of ensuring the best outcomes for people, nature and climate.’

The Strategy can be found on the Devon Local Nature Partnership website.

Funded by the Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund and a range of organisations from across Devon including councils, the Forestry Commission and National Landscapes, the plan will contribute to making Devon thrive for people nature and climate.

Work is underway to explore how different districts, unitaries and partners can make their contribution to the strategy themes.