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Project News, and Tree Planting! Great Trees in the Clyst Valley

  • by JW

Some very welcome news from the Clyst Valley:


Project News, and Tree Planting! Great Trees in the Clyst Valley

Dear volunteers and supporters of Great Trees in the Clyst Valley, season’s greetings!


Thank you for an amazing year, you have helped us get so much done.

Highlights included:

We ran an orchard survey training day in May, and our target of getting ten old orchards surveyed for the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, was smashed by our great volunteers who have already recorded thirteen orchards in the Clyst Valley!

Our volunteers also have already recorded hundreds of ancient veteran and notable trees for the national Ancient Tree Inventory (See Seeing the impact of our project volunteers is clear on the map (below), where each symbol is a tree recorded. In the centre of the project area the records are thickly clustered and by contrast, outside the project there are only a few records. Well done team!

The biggest tree we recorded was an English oak a whopping 8.11m in girth (circumference). Precise dating is not possible but this tree is likely to be between 500 and 700 years old. Only five oaks so far been recorded in the whole of Devon have more than 8m in girth, so this was a real find!

Our ten guided walks on themes as wide ranging as archaeology, wildlife, conservation and  landscape history were very popular, many were over-subscribed. We tried to cater for all interests and ages, so we even had a Teddy Bears Picnic! There will be a new series of walks announced for the coming year.



We will have a full programme in spring and summer with more events, guided walks and opportunities to join in with citizen science projects. We hope you will join us for some of those. But before that:


Would you like to learn to orchard pruning? We hope to offer some training for our volunteers in conjunction with the National Trust. A day late in January is likely. Date to be confirmed.

TREE PLANTING:   February- March

Planting trees for the future is an amazing thing. Before this winter ends we have trees to plant and we would love you to help us and join in.

In February we will be planting a new orchard of traditional apple varieties at Budlake.

In February – March we will be restoring historic parkland around Bishop’s Court Sowton with new planting.

Also in February – March we have an ambitious plan to plant a new mixed native woodland in the Clyst Valley. It seems that at last we have found the right site.

Final arrangements for the planting are still being made, so watch this space for news of dates and how to get involved.


If you want to join us to help with the tree planting, or if you want to record ancient and veteran trees or be involved with other citizen science, or just find out more about the project, then do get in touch.

Please share this with your friends, family and colleagues, if you can and you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ClystGreatTrees and don’t forget our website at


Best wishes

Jon Freeman

EDDC, Project Officer:

Great Trees in the Clyst Valley.

07875 285539

Twitter: @ClystGreatTrees

Our Website is now LIVE!


This project is managed by East Devon District Council and has been made possible through the generous support of:

The Heritage Lottery Fund, National Trust, Woodland Trust, Devon County Council, Environment Agency Devon Gardens Trust, Parishes Together, and E.ON