A NEW 40-hectare woodland will be joined onto Delamere Forest in Cheshire, providing more space for people to enjoy, improved habitat for wildlife and sustainable home-grown timber.

Leaders from Forestry England and Cheshire West and Chester Council joined forces at Delamere Forest on Wednesday 3 April to plant trees and learn about the benefits of woodland creation.

Hondslough Farm at the northern edge of Delamere Forest was bought by Forestry England from Cheshire West and Chester Council and is now being planted with a mix of broadleaf and conifer saplings to become Hondslough Wood.

One area of Hondslough Wood is being planted as a seed stand, an area specially managed to grow trees and collect their seeds, which will supply Forestry England’s nursery based close to Delamere Forest at Lobslack.

The nursery supplies around seven million trees each year to plant in the nation’s forests, either to replant areas where trees have been harvested for timber, or to create new areas of woodland. The new seed stand at Delamere will support Forestry England’s work to have a home-grown and diverse supply of tree seeds so the nation’s forests will continue to flourish as the climate changes.

Taking part in the planting event were Mike Seddon, Forestry England Chief Executive, Paddy Harrop, Forestry England’s local Forest Management Director, Delyth Curtis, Chief Executive of Cheshire West and Cheshire Council, and Imam Sayyed, Head of Plant & Seed Supply at Forestry England along with William Tyson, Forestry England Woodland Creation Manager and Adam Evans, Forester for Delamere Forest.

Paddy Harrop, Forest Management Director, said:

“We’re planting a mix of trees here to flourish as a source of sustainably grown timber in the decades ahead. And creating this woodland next to an established forest also means we’ll be expanding public access as well as providing greater benefits for biodiversity.

“I’m delighted that we’re able show Delyth what we’re achieving with the land sold to us by Cheshire West and Chester Council so that she can see first-hand the positive impact this will have for the local community.”

Delyth Curtis, Chief Executive of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said:

“It’s fantastic to hear about the work being done by Forestry England and the plans to create this new woodland that will benefit our communities and nature for years to come. Having access to nature is so important for our communities and this new woodland is just one of many being planted in the area that is helping to grow the wider Mersey Forest, which is connecting more people to green spaces. These trees will benefit generations and play a vital role to help our borough become carbon neutral by 2045.”

The new woodland is one of many Forestry England is planting by 2026 which together will cover at least 2,000 hectares and support Government targets to increase tree planting across the UK. It is one of the ‘Coronation Woods’ Forestry England is planting to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III; Forestry England is creating this and other Coronation Woods through the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund.

Forestry England corporate partner AstraZeneca has supported the tree planting for the new woodland site as part of their AZ Forest global reforestation and biodiversity programme. AstraZeneca are working with Forestry England to fund the planting and maintenance of over one million trees across England by the end of 2025.

Every tree planted across Cheshire and Merseyside is helping to grow the Mersey Forest, the area’s local Community Forest, and the larger Northern Forest that stretches from Liverpool to the Yorkshire coast.