How to plant a tree
How to plant a hedgerow
The Somerset Tree strategy
The new Somerset Tree Strategy was adopted by Somerset Council. on the 6th of June 2023. The strategy recognises the Council’s role in helping tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss and has been developed in partnership with the Environment Agency, Somerset Local Nature Partnership, Exmoor National Park, Quantock Hills, AONB Partnership, The Forestry Commission and The Woodland Trust.
The five themes of the tree strategy are:
- Create a Wood Culture: Where everyone understands the importance of trees to the county, its natural environment, and its communities.
- Make our trees resilient and adaptable: To climate change by protecting, expanding, managing, and diversifying our existing treescapes.
- Expand tree coverage in Somerset: Through planting initiatives, in urban and rural areas, to create cohesive and connected treescapes that include woodlands, parks, roadsides and urban spaces.
- Create a range of services and products: That allow our treescapes to contribute to society through local supply chains and the creation of natural capital opportunities.
- Create a sustainable and flexible governance structure: That ensures the successful implementation of the strategy over the next ten years.
A ten-year plan to enhance and protect Somerset trees and woodland includes an ambitious aimto plant 240 hectares of new trees and woodlands each year.
Read more about the Tree Strategy here: Somerset Tree Strategy Takes Root
Where we have planted trees
Zoom out to see all locations and click the red pins for site summary.
370 trees on land adjacent to the Plotgate scheme in Barton St David. 100 trees (in 11 varieties) provided by RTL and 270 trees in 11 native varieties provided by eforests, along with stakes and guards. TA11 6AT
Baltonsborough Community Orchard
Orchard of 23 apple and pear trees in variety. 30 children involved in school planting of named varieties mirroring their classroom names. BA6 8PX
Plotgate and Framboise Orchard
Plotgate. (a) Mixed linear woodland of 300 whips and (b) a shelterbelt planting of 120 whips.0ver 30 volunteers involved in two separate days of planting. TA11 6AT
Framboise Orchard. 370 trees on land adjacent to the Plotgate scheme in Barton St David. 100 trees (in 11 varieties) provided by RTL and 270 trees in 11 native varieties provided by eforests, along with stakes and guards. TA11 6AT
Avenue of 34 Tilia Cordata on a mix of publicly owned land (playing fields) and privately owned land. BS28 4BS
A woodland has been planned in the village of Monckton Heathfield just outside Taunton to commemorate those men from Somerset who died in the First World War. Over the next few years 11,000 trees will be planted. Reimagining the Levels is offering volunteer labour to help with this and has contributed to one planting session so far, at the end of January 2019. TA2 8QJ
Baybrook Farm Godney
A mixed woodland of 70 trees in land by the river Sheppey. 14 standard sized trees and 56 whips in mixed native varieties. BA5 1RZ
Goarway Wood, Yarley Hill, Nr Wells. BA5 1PA
Myrtle Farm, BS29 6LP
Sparkford, BA22 7HY
Stathe, Nr Bridgwater, TA7 0JL
Dove Studies, Butleigh, BA6 8TL
Stoke Road, Martock
Little Old Lane Farm
Frog Lane Farm
Field off Landmoor Lane
Lands End Farm
Coombe Farm, Bruton, BA10 0QP
Paradise Lane, BA5 3RN
Barrow Hill House, Milborne Wick, DT9 4PP
Folly Lodge, Folly Lane, North Wootton, BA4 4ER
Land & Buildings at Tolbury Lane, Bruton BA10 0DQ
Knapp Road, near Ham
Mill Rd, Barton St David, TA11 6DF
Redwood Rare Breeds, Wanstrow, BA4 4SZ
Ashmoor Drove, Wookey BA5 1NS
Isle Brewers Lane, Isle Brewers, Taunton TA3 6QR
Lower Godney, Wells BA5 1RZ
Parsonage lane, Kingston St Mary, Taunton TA2 8HL
Union Drove, Huish Episcopi, TA10 9EY
Land off Portfield Lane, Langport TA10 0NJ
Woodland cover over the Somerset Levels and Catchment is low and many of the smaller woodlands are under-managed which can lead to biodiversity loss. Yet there is strong evidence that planting woodlands in the upper and middle catchments ameliorates downstream flooding To this end, Reimagining the Levels members plan to replace many of the trees lost to past river engineering and land reclamation and will be looking for volunteers to help with this.
The use of floodplain woodland as a ‘soft-engineered’ aid to flood control has been the subject of several studies (Environment Agency and Forestry Commission). In addition to the advantages of flood control and water storage, it offers improvements to water quality, nature conservation and improved landscape with potential for a recreational amenity. Bringing unmanaged woodland back into the economy and planting new woodland and trees where they will do most good, will also help build jobs and build value around woodland products and uses.
Trees for Somerset events
The first Reimagining the Levels Tree event took place on the 7th November 2018 at Compton Dundon Village Hall, attended by a wide variety of people representing community groups and landowners, united by a love of the Somerset Levels and Moors landscape and their concerns over its future.
A series of guest presenters spoke to the topics (see below) and the workshops that followed focused on the need to move from discussion to action with ideas about community engagement through tree planting and woodland management. The need to keep challenging methods that degrade the land and increase flood risk through contact with MPs, Government agencies, farmers and landowners was seen essential by participants. The power of small groups to create change should not be underestimated.
Throughout the day, attendees were refreshed with a range home-made soups, cakes and breads all sourced from www.localfooddirect.co.uk and we received many compliments on the taste and quality. If you are interested in supporting this local business initiative that in turn supports local producers, do visit the website and see for yourselves the range of foods on offer.
At a post-conference meeting it was agreed that RtLs would contact all 330 Parish Councils in Somerset with proposals for adopting a Tree Policy that promotes community woodland planting and encouraging the appointment of a Tree Officer who can identify local land and negotiate with land owners. We will offer all interested parishes an opportunity to meet with us in June 2019, perhaps visiting nearby schemes to see first-hand the many advantages gained in enhancing both environmental protections and community engagement.
Additionally, RtL members will join with other like-minded organisations to promote sustainable agriculture and woodland growth. One of our members will be advising Defra on the newly formed Lowland Agricultural Peat Task Force.
Since the conference we have already lent our energy and expertise to tree planting to the approach of Wedmore by joining with Green Wedmore to plant 34 Lime trees. More ‘planting’ events are planned for January so do watch out for details on the website and Facebook.
The first Reimagining the Levels Tree event took place on the 7th November at Compton Dundon Village Hall, attended by a wide variety of people representing community groups and landowners, united by a love of the Somerset Levels and Moors landscape and their concerns over its future.