17th Apr, 2021

500 trees planted at Droitwich nature reserve to aid bees and butterflies

MORE THAN 500 trees have being planted on a nature reserve in between Droitwich and Himbleton which is an important habitat for rare butterflies.

Oaks, small-leaved limes, wild cherry, rowan and wild service are being introduced to Trench Wood to increase diversity in the woodland.

The area, jointly managed by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation, was once owned by Harris Brush which grew limited varieties of quick-growing trees to harvest for their business.

Trees would be cut down from the coppice woodland to their base so the timber could be used and the trees regrow.

Over centuries, wildlife adapted to this technique and so the trust continues with this management.

In 2018 three glades were created which are now being regenerated with hazel and other native species.

The move has led to rare butterflies, including the brown hairstreak, and birds, such as the garden warbler, being attracted to the area.

Dominique Cragg, the trust’s officer in charge of the woodland, said: “The glades are in an area that only has a few species of tree – silver birch, poplar and ash – so we’re giving this section of the woodland a boost by planting five extra species that will otherwise find it hard to naturally colonise.

“Our regular volunteers were delighted to be joined by staff and students from Kidderminster College who really got stuck in with planting the trees and protecting them with biodegradable guards.”

Dom added “As they grow, the new trees will benefit all sorts of wildlife – from bumblebees feeding on the lime flowers to birds feeding on the rowan berries and wild cherries, jays will eat the acorns and both small mammals and breeding birds will love how dense it will become.”

Anyone wanting to get involved with the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s tree planting or help manage the woodland at Trench can do so by the volunteer groups which meet weekly on Thursdays and monthly on Sundays.

Visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/volunteer for more information.

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