MORE than 500 trees are being planted on a popular nature reserve near Hanbury which is known for attracting rare species of butterfly.

The trees, which include oak, small-leaved lime, wild cherry, Rowan and wild service, are being planted to help increase diversity in the woodland.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s Trench Wood was once owned by Harris Brush Company, which grew limited varieties of quick-growing trees to harvest for their business.

Dominique Cragg, the trust’s officer in charge of the woodland, said: “We created three glades in 2018 that are already regenerating with hazel and other native species.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

"However, these 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.”

Trench Wood is jointly managed by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and the Butterfly Conservation and is an important site for several species of butterfly, including the rare brown hairstreak, and birds such as garden warbler.

Historically, it was managed as a coppice woodland. Trees would be cut almost to the base in order to use the timber and allow the trees to regrow.

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

Dominique 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.”

Trench Wood is situated between Droitwich Spa and Himbleton. Anyone who wants to get involved with tree planting or helping to manage the woodland at Trench Wood on an ongoing basis is welcome to join the volunteer groups, which meet weekly on Thursdays and monthly on Sundays.

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