We were delighted to be selected recently (January, 2018) to provide trees to help secure the future of a woodland on the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire cared for by the Malvern Hills Trust.
We supplied the charity with 30 trees to plant in Thirds Wood, a small 15-acre parcel of woodland located on the western side of the Malvern Hills in between Pinnacle and Perseverance Hills.
Jules Griffiths, our Transplants Division Sales Administrator, said: “We have been supplying trees to the Malvern Hills Trust on and off since 2009 and are delighted they came to us to help with this conservation project. We provided 20 conifers - Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris and 10 Hornbeam - Carpinus betulus plus stakes and shelters.”
Thirds Wood was first planted around 1860 as a commemorative planting for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Although originally planted with just conifers – dominantly European Larch with a small number of Scots Pine and Norway Spruce, it is now a mature, mixed wood as many deciduous broadleaf trees have grown up including Beech, Sycamore, Hornbeam, Holly and Ash.
Essential conservation work in Thirds Wood began in October to remove some of the over mature and weaker trees. The tree species selected for planting were carefully considered to maintain the character of the woodland that has been named by people in the area as ‘Little Switzerland’.
Jonathan Bills, Conservation Manager at the Malvern Hills Trust, said: “This is a key step in maintaining the character of this wood for local people and visitors to enjoy. Sadly, there is a ban on planting Larch, a dominant species in the woodland, due to the risk of a tree disease.
“However, we have chosen to plant three species already present within the woodland, including two evergreen species. Norway Spruce, Scots Pine and Hornbeam, these will keep that ‘Little Switzerland’ character and also provide habitat for species such as Siskins and Crossbills.
“Local residents, including county botanist Peter Garner, Colwall Parish Councillor, Gwyneth Rees and her husband Derek, and the Deputy Chair of Malvern Hills Trust, Sarah Rouse, all gathered at Thirds Wood on Friday, January 19 to plant the saplings. They will provide new growth and help to ensure the future of the woodland.”
Thirds Wood is owned by the Malvern Hills Trust and is covered by the 5 Malvern Hills Acts of Parliament. It is within the Malvern Hills Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Further planting is planned for winter of 2018/2019.
Volunteers planting the saplings from Wyevale Nurseries at Thirds Wood on the Malvern Hills. (Image credit ©Derek Rees/Malvern Hills Trust)