Great Trees In The Clyst Valley

Jon Freeman has been appointed Project Officer for an exciting new project “Great trees In The Clyst Valley”.

Trees are a prominent and much-loved feature in the Devon Countryside, and their environmental importance cannot be overemphasised. This project is all about getting communities actively involved in the tree-scape of the Clyst Valley. Volunteers will at first be surveying the ancient trees that provide such valuable, biodiverse wildlife habitats. Then, through later stages of the project volunteers will go on to record and restore historic orchards, hedgerows and parkland with new plantings of trees, for the long-term benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

The Clyst Valley is on the doorstep of a rapidly growing population just East of Exeter. Whilst some parts of it are well known, for example, the National Trust's Killerton House & Park, others are less accessible and await discovery. A programme of guided discovery walks will lead the public out and about to explore the wider heritage and natural history of sunken lanes, flood meadows, and hill forts, of the varied and fascinating historic landscape. Our project will encourage the public to explore, record and restore the heritage of trees in fields, hedges, parks and orchards across nine priority parishes. A series of themed local training events will provide volunteers with the knowledge and skills to participate in a range of varied practical activities. It is hoped that through this project the public will become widely involved, leading towards a series of workshops to help define an ambitious 25-year vision for the fledgeling Clyst Valley Regional Park.

Jon said: “I’m really very excited to have started work on the Great Trees project, which brings together many strands my past work. I’m passionate about the historic environment, the natural history of the Devon countryside plus the stories of people and their places. Can’t wait to get started!”

For more information contact jon.freeman@eastdevon.gov.uk

The project is managed by East Devon District Council and has been made possible through the generous support of The Heritage Lottery Fund with further financial backing from the National Trust, The Forestry Commission, The Woodland Trust, Devon County Council, and The Environment Agency.