Saving Devon's Treescapes

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20km of hedgerow planted
250,000 trees planted and nurtured
100 schools will engage in outdoor learning

Devon's treescapes are stunning and crucial habitats for so much wildlife. But they are under threat from ash dieback which is estimated to kill at least 90% of Devon’s ash trees in the coming years. It will affect everyone, but everyone can be part of the solution. We're leading on fighting ash dieback on behalf of the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum, and we are looking for Devon's communities to get involved and help us to save Devon's precious treescapes.

Saving Devon’s Treescapes aims to provide hope and action in the face of the alarming changes that are already affecting our precious treescapes. We will support local communities across the county to plant and nurture thousands of replacement trees. These won’t be ash trees, but they will be of other native Devon species including oak, field maple, aspen, lime, beech, birch, and hazel. The project will enable people to care for and celebrate our treasured treescapes, supporting local action for wildlife and climate change. There are many ways you can get involved from planting trees to recording butterflies.

Here's Rosie to tell us a bit about the project...

Free Tree Scheme

The project can offer free trees (saplings) for planting in your garden or any land where you have permission. We’re giving these away at local distribution hubs where you can collect a free tree, a planting guide and tree protection. Each hub will have between 200-400 trees to give away and will be run by local volunteers. All trees available are UK native species such as Oak, Rowan and Crab Apple.

Upcoming free tree hubs include:

  • Bovey Tracey community centre –January 2021, date tbc
  • Heavitree community cafe, Exeter – February 2021, date TBC
  • Occombe Farm, Paignton – date TBC
  • High Nature Centre, East Portlemouth – February 2021, TBC
  • Devon County Show - May 2021
  • Meeth Quarry nature reserve – this is by request so please get in touch on to arrange

If you’re interested in hosting a hub next year then please email Rosie to register your interest.

tree planting

Photo credit, Ben Hall/2020VISION

Citizen science

The Saving Devon’s Treescapes project will be asking volunteers to monitor trees as well as key species to help us better understand the health of Devon’s treescapes.


DBRC, a partner of the project, have developed a web-based app to allow you to record notable trees whilst you’re about and about. You can use this app on your mobile phone, or on your computer. Click here to get started.

Brown Hairstreak butterflies:

Brown Hairstreak butterflies are important for us to monitor and record because they rely on well connected, high quality treescapes for all stages of their life cycle. Devon is also one of the last national strongholds of this scarce butterfly.

Don’t worry if you’ve never done this before. We held an online training in November and saved it to YouTube so you can listen back and learn what to do.

Watch the training sessions here.


If you want to start recording please contact Jess at

Bats, Lichens and Cirl Bunting:

As part of the project we’ll also be monitoring and recording bats, lichens and cirl bunting. We’ll add more information as soon as we can on this webpage so you can get involved.


Chris Gomersall2020VISION


We’re working alongside FWAG SW to deliver free advisory visits to landowners across Devon. They will be focusing on:

  • Management of hedges, in-field and hedge trees, orchards, wood pasture
  • Identifying individual hedge trees and tagging them to allow individual trees to grow up
  • Hedge restoration, planting new hedges and sympathetic hedge management (funded through Countryside Stewardship option and capital items)
  • Planting small on-farm woodlands (using trees grown in the project’s own nurseries, potentially using project volunteers)
  • 3-2-1 ash replacement formula: planting at least three new trees for every large ash, two for every medium-sized ash and one for every small ash

If you’re interested please get in touch with Sabine McEwan at


Chris Lawrence


We plan to work with schools across the county to plant new trees and engage children is education around treescapes. We can offer different things depending on your school’s capacity:

  • Tree packs: up to 50 saplings to plant or to distribute for pupils to plant at home. If you’re looking for more trees then get in touch and we’ll see if we can help out
  • Micro-nurseries: if you have the space we can help support you to build a raised bed so you can collect acorns and start growing your own trees
  • Education: the DWT schools team can come in and engage your students in some outdoor learning focused around trees. Or we can provide lesson plans and idea for you to deliver yourselves

If you’re interested please contact Rosie at

Looking to get involved and plant a tree? Take a look at these instructions...

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Generously funded by

SDT funders