Community Volunteers Create New Woodland Habitat at MIRA

A new native woodland was planted by 21 community volunteers from Higham on the Hill, Leicestershire Tree Wardens, Nuneaton Cycle Club and MIRA employees last weekend on disused land set aside for the project by MIRA.

Community Volunteers Create New Woodland Habitat at MIRA

The new 1.5 hectare wood, which lies between Station Road and Stoke Lane was created with assistance from the Woodland Trust, which supplied 1,500 saplings as part of its national ‘More Trees, More Good’ campaign – which aims to double native woodland cover by working with individuals, groups and landowners across the country.

Higham-on-the Hill Tree Wardens Ann and David Jenkins, who championed the project said:

 “As a community we are always looking for ways in which to improve the appearance and biodiversity of the local area.

“Having seen the Trust’s ‘More Trees, More Good’’ campaign, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to bring together residents and our neighbour MIRA on a worthwhile project to improve the landscape and create a valuable habitat for wildlife.”

The Woodland Trust contributed 60% of the project’s cost – which included spiral guards, stakes and ties for the trees – as well as conservation expertise, whilst the remaining 40% was met by the local community and a contribution from MIRA.

The Woodland Trust visited the site in order to evaluate which native species should be planted and as a result the wood is now comprised of Oak (375), Ash (375), Hazel (225), Field Maple (225), Dogwood (150) and Hawthorn (150) in keeping with the flora of the local area.

MIRA’s senior operations manager Dave Hockton commented:

“We meet regularly with our neighbours in Higham on the Hill and were very pleased to support the project.

“Several of our staff helped with planting out over the weekend – which breathes new life into land that was formerly a sewage works that MIRA acquired from Severn Trent in 1996.

Figures from the Woodland Trust show that the UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe, with just 12 per cent woodland cover compared to the European average of 44 per cent. However, as project manager Clare Ollerenshaw explains, the Trust has ambitious aims to increase this figure.

“Last winter we helped to create over 210 hectares of new native woodland across the UK and, with the enthusiasm and support of communities like Higham on the Hill, ‘More Trees, More Good’ aims to help plant 20 million native trees every year for the next 50 years.”