HUNDREDS of trees are being planted in the Wyre Forest in an effort to make the forest more resilient against pests and disease.

A total of 2,021 trees have been funded by the Woodland Trust and are being planted by volunteers with the Wyre Community Land Trust (WCLT) on a 200-acre site known as Ruskin Land in Bewdley.

The land is owned by the Guild of St George and has been grazed by pigs managed by WCLT.

These new trees, which are a mix of Hazel, Rowan, Dog Rose, Wild Cherry, Wych Elm and Goat Willow, will add to the 1,800 trees planted by the Trust last year.

They will be enclosed to protect them from deer and other animals.

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The aim is to diversify the largely-oak landscape and it is hoped the new woodland trees and shrubs will bring new species into the ancient oak woodland and encourage biodiversity, while also providing food for wildlife.

Local councillors and students from Birchen Coppice School have joined in with planting more than 1,000 trees already this week, and the rest are set to be in place by the end of the week.

Tim Selman, managing director of WCLT, said: "Tree planting in the Wyre Forest is vital to making the forest more resilient for the future.

"As well as diversifying the largely oak landscape, this planting will also support a wider variety of wildlife biodiversity and in particular provide food for woodland birds, and potentially reverse their decline.

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"It's also a fantastic project where the WCLT can get involved with our community, who we are grateful to for helping us plant the 2,021 trees and do our bit for the environment."

Emma Bird, from the Woodland Trust’s woodland creation team, added: “At this time of climate and nature emergency, we need trees in the ground like never before.

"By planting a mix of UK sourced and grown native broadleaf species, this scheme will improve the diversity and resilience of the local landscape, making it better equipped to deal with future threats posed by pests and disease. It will also provide a haven for wildlife.

"The Wyre Community Land Trust does some great work and we are delighted to support their endeavours.”

District MP Mark Garnier will join the tree plant on Saturday.