Brian May plants first tree for his Dorset woodland project

Brian May on his land at Bere Regis Brian May visited his land in February and took part in a successful consultation with local residents

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Rock star Brian May has taken up a shovel to plant the first tree on land he is reclaiming "on behalf of our wildlife".

The Queen guitarist kick started a long-term plan to transform 157-acres of agricultural land he bought in Bere Regis, Dorset, into a woodland haven.

More than 100,000 trees and shrubs will be planted there in the next 12 months.

Dr May said: "I come from a place of playing guitar and music, but I've always had a concern about animals."

The tree-planting project is part of the musician's Save Me wildlife charity, which is also heavily involved in an anti-badger cull campaign.

May's Wood

The 66-year-old has a PhD in astrophysics and is a wildlife campaigner.

He said the land would eventually "form a wildlife corridor and link on with the wildlife meadow".

He added: "We have a wonderful possibility to make an environment which our children and grandchildren will grow up and enjoy in harmony with the animals around them."

The woodland originally named Save Me Woods has become known by local residents as May's Wood and the name has stuck.

Residents joined Dr May in the community planting day on Saturday afternoon, where around 600 trees - mainly Oak - were planted.

Eight fields will be planted in May's Wood conversion and the range of trees will include oak, beech, chestnut, limes, wild cherry, spruce, Douglas fir, walnut and woody shrubs.

The majority of the tree planting will take place after 1 January 2014 once the farming cycle has fully stopped.

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