Feb 05 2019

Update on Mead Young Peoples Forest Project

Activity is moving forward this spring to develop our activity at our exciting new project based at Mead, in Derbyshire. Our Young Peoples Forest project has recruited its first staff, with a Youth development manager set to start in post this month and a new Site manager for the site to start in early March.


In an estimated £5 million project we are looking to turn the 162 hectare site, which was open cast mine, into an important natural habitat by planting 260,000 trees and creating one of the area’s largest new native woodlands.


We hope to be able to start offering new volunteer opportunities to get involved late spring / early summer, with the first tree planting activity planned for November this year.


As part of its plans, the project is particularly looking to reach out to young people in the area by providing a wealth of volunteering opportunities and tree planting. We already have close connections with some of the local schools but are keen to hear from other schools in the area and local community groups who are interested in being involved as the work moves forward.


The Trust is initially buying a quarter of the land – thanks to a cash boost from The Veolia Environmental Trust, through the Landfill Communities Fund and Pears Foundation – but it will need to raise further funds to buy the remaining land. The charity will be launching a fundraising campaign in the New Year to help raise the cash.


Ecological surveys show that the site already harbours more than 40 bird species, including red listed linnets, lapwing and skylark. There is also evidence of the likes of badger and water voles nearby. Planting trees brings the potential to significantly increase the number and range of species.


As well as planting approximately 260,000 trees and creating hundreds of metres of hedgerows, there will be some areas left open for natural regeneration – something that local people will be able to watch over the years to see how nature recovers when it is simply given space to breathe.


For more information on the project, please see both our BBC news coverage on the project  and a recent article featured on ITV, here


1 Comment
  • Gustav Clark

    You mention natural regeneration, but do not expand on it. I would have thought that natural regeneration should always be the preferred way of creating a wooded area. It is slow, but it delivers a mix of trees that is guaranteed to be a good fit to the site. Planting seems a very second-best method, more appropriate for sites where natural processes have failed, or where for example there is a planning condition that trees must be planted.

    Derbyshire has for centuries had very low tree cover, except in the valleys, but looking at Google Earth back to 1999 this site had a srip-wood running almost all the way round the perimeter, which was still present when the site was closed and grassed over. It is possible to see natural invasion of the site from this wood starting on the southern border. It is very much less aggressive than the planted area in the SE corner.

    February 5, 2019 at 8:53 pm

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