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News article created on 29 May 2013

Diamond Jubilee Woodland completes today

The Diamond Jubilee Woodland project at Caen Hill on the Kennet & Avon Canal will be completed today as Claire Perry, MP for Devizes, plants the final tree.

This new woodland will be a wonderful addition to Caen Hillside to be enjoyed by the public for many years to come. Claire Perry

Claire will join staff from the Canal & River Trust who have led the project to plant 30,000 trees at Caen Hill over the last year, with much help from the local community and volunteers.

A number of ancient oak saplings will be also  be planted, which have been grown specially from seeds sourced from one of the Royal Parks.

The site on the Kennet & Avon Canal is one of 60 Diamond Jubilee Woods planted around the country to mark the Queen’s six decades as Monarch, as part of the Woodland Trust’s national programme of celebrations, with funding provided by the Forestry Commission.

Claire Perry, MP, says: “The Diamond Jubilee was such a wonderful event that brought the whole country together in paying tribute to a remarkable Queen and I am honoured to take part in this great project to commemorate her sixty year reign. I am a great lover of our countryside in Wiltshire and this new woodland will be a wonderful addition to Caen Hillside to be enjoyed by the public for many years to come.”

Final piece of the jigsaw

Sarah Brice, project manager at the Canal & River Trust, adds: “This has been such an exciting project to work on, making a completely new woodland and public open space in Devizes, and I’m delighted our Member of Parliament is able to plant one of the Royal Oaks.

“It’s 15 months since we planted our first tree, so to see the last one in place is like putting in the final piece of the jigsaw. We’ve had a huge amount of help from local people to make this project work. As the trees mature, we hope the woodland will become a real haven for wildlife and a great place for people to visit, relax and enjoy the Wiltshire countryside in all its glory.”

The 60 acre site will improve the biodiversity of the area and provide a legacy for future generations, who are able to enjoy free access. Trees planted include hazel, cherries, rowan, oak and field maple, amongst others. There are also wide grassy footpaths and verges planted with wild flower seed mixes to attract bees, butterflies and birds. The wood will be productive with some hazel trees being cut in rotation every seven years and used for stabilising the canal banks. One of the fields has sweet chestnut, cherry and hornbeam which will be used to supply logs for firewood.