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Hortifeeds Donation Helps to Expand Woodland

Hortifeeds Donation Helps to Expand Woodland

A private woodland which is a safe haven for wildlife in the heart of Kettlethorpe, near Lincoln, is set to branch out following a financial donation from Hortifeeds to help plant 4,000 new trees.

Hortifeeds will be working closely with Rodge and Alison Brownlow who have spent almost 40 years nurturing and creating a private space and woodland.

Buying their first, 13-acre woodland in 1983, the Brownlows have gradually acquired adjoining land to make over 100 acres, with woodland totalling 60 acres and the remainder being grassland.

The financial donation will go towards the planting of new trees in the autumn which will include Oak, Birch, Hornbeam and other native broadleaves. It will add to earlier plantings of 2,000 trees in 1993 and a more ambitious planting of 5,000 native trees and shrubs in 2006.

The trees will create a wildlife corridor between two existing woods.

Hortifeeds, which manufacture plant nutrition and water management products for the horticultural market, are thrilled to support the woodland development as part its commitment to the local community and sustainability as Chris Norris, managing director at Hortifeeds explains: “Preserving the natural environment and wildlife as well as supporting our community is essential, so we were delighted to be given the opportunity to be involved.”

One of the woods is a PAWS (a plantation on an ancient woodland site) meaning it has been continuous woodland since 1600 and has been subject to a recent thinning to enable the remaining trees to reach their full potential - an important procedure for the overall improvement of woodland biodiversity.

Other woods have been clear felled of Scots Pine and allowed to regrow with volunteer Birch intermixed with planted Oak, Rowan and Hazel.

“Climate change is constantly in the news and the government’s commitment to plant 7,000 hectares of woodland per year by May 2024 will be essential to reach net zero emissions by 2050,” says Rodge Brownlow.

“Both Alison and I are active members of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and we are passionate about protecting local wildlife. The woodland is home to foxes, deer, buzzards and a variety of owls, which is one of the main reasons the area is private as we want to preserve the wildlife within.

“We are hugely thankful to Hortifeeds for their support, it will ensure the wood can be planted quickly in the autumn so it can be bedded in for next spring,” added Rodge.

The planned site of the new woodland.

BSI