A tree-planting project to restore a once disease-ridden area of a Hampshire woodland has come to an end.

Around 2,000 young trees were put in the ground on March 19 by members of staff from Ground Control, as part of its new corporate partnership with Forestry England.

West Wood, near Farley Mount, covers an area of over 620 acres of woodland which was affected by ash dieback.

Last year Forestry England had to remove thousands of ash trees from its land in the South.

Ground Control is supporting the restoration of this local woodland by planting oak, hornbeam and cherry.

The mix of species will ensure continuity of habitat and provide all the other benefits that trees bring, including carbon sequestration and the boost to health and well-being that local people take in visiting the area.

Chris Bawtree, environmental lead at Ground Control, said: “We are excited to be able to support Forestry England in this important project through our Evergreen environmental impact fund. This is another great example of how we are working in partnership with likeminded organisations to care for our environment and deliver positive impacts.

"It is critical that we manage and restock our established woodlands in addition to increasing forest cover through woodland creation.”

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The new trees planted at West Wood will be looked after by Forestry England’s local team, with special attention paid to them for the first five years.

The team will conduct regular maintenance to help prevent the seedlings from being overgrown by other plants and protect them from being eaten by deer, rabbits and other wildlife.

Bruce Rothnie, south forest management director for Forestry England, added: “I hope the young trees planted at West Wood will be enjoyed by many generations. This new corporate partnership initiative provides a great way for organisations to work with Forestry England on both tree planting and wildlife conservation projects to achieve the maximum positive environmental impact.

"The funding boost from Ground Control has enabled us to plant more trees, which goes to the heart of what Forestry England is all about."

This story originally appeared in the Hampshire Chronicle.

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