Huge new forest to be planted near St Albans

PUBLISHED: 12:14 28 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:28 06 May 2010

The green area shows where the new forest will be planted

The green area shows where the new forest will be planted

THE largest new native forest in England is set to be planted on nearly 850 acres of land in Sandridge. The Woodland Trust is to put more than 600,000 native trees on the farmland which it is planning to buy and turn into a new Herts forest bigger than Hy

THE largest new native forest in England is set to be planted on nearly 850 acres of land in Sandridge.

The Woodland Trust is to put more than 600,000 native trees on the farmland which it is planning to buy and turn into a new Herts forest bigger than Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined.

The proposed new forest will be open to the public and create a massive woodland asset within 20 miles of the centre of London.

Sue Holden, chief executive of the Woodland Trust, said that site purchase, planting of trees and management costs for the first five years would total £8.5 million which would result in the charity launching its largest-ever fundraising campaign.

She added: "A continuous new native forest of this size has never been created in England before.

"We have been searching for some time for a major site to buy in the south east. Our plans for the new forest at Sandridge are truly historic in scale and offer an unmissable opportunity to plant such a huge number of trees and benefit so many people."

She added: "We estimate that two million people live within 15 miles of Sandridge alone. Our new wood will provide a large and accessible space for people at a time when there is huge pressure to develop and build on land in the south east."

Although the land is currently farmland, it has pockets of ancient woodland providing wildlife habitat. The site is regarded by the trust as its most exciting woodland creation opportunity in its 36-year history.

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