Fingle Woods: National Trust and Woodland Trust team up

The project includes creating almost 30 miles (48km) of footpaths

A £5m project to buy and restore 825 acres of woodland in Devon has been launched by two charities.

The Woodland Trust and National Trust want to protect and restore Fingle Woods, which is on the edge of Dartmoor, in east Devon.

Their plans include creating almost 30 miles (48km) of footpaths.

They hope the project will benefit species like pied flycatcher and fritillary butterflies, which live in the ancient woodlands.

Start Quote

We estimate it will be 50-70 years before this woodland is restored to anything like its former glory.”

End Quote Adrian Colston National Trust

Norman Starks, operations director for the Woodland Trust, said: "Ancient woodland is the richest land habitat for species in the UK, having been present since at least 1600.

"It is the natural world's equivalent of a Grade I listed building and can't be recreated simply by planting new trees."

Mr Starks said non-native conifers were planted between 1930s and 1980s to meet timber needs for industry.

'Protected haven'

Fingle Woods has more than 525 acres of damaged ancient woodland - the equivalent of 293 football pitches - which have been planted with conifer trees.

Mr Starks said: "The best way to restore these woodlands back to their former glory is to change the canopy structure gradually, slowly removing the conifers to let the light back in.

"Restoration is the only way to protect the long-term future of the last 2% of ancient woodland that remains in the UK."

Adrian Colston, general manager of the National Trust, said: "We estimate it will be 50-70 years before this woodland is restored to anything like its former glory, but it will create a protected haven for wildlife and people to enjoy for hundreds of years to come."

The charities have launched a £5m fundraising campaign to buy the woods and to help meet restoration costs for 20 years.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Devon

Weather

Plymouth

Min. Night 16 °C

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Van DammeA-list adverts

    BBC Autos takes a look at some of the most curious and courageous link-ups in car-advert history

Programmes

  • Bitcoin logoClick Watch

    The developer behind the new Bitcoin tech on the fears it will hide criminal activity

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.