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Tilhill Forestry helps create one of largest public woodlands in England

(Tilhill Forestry, UK, August 2013) - A Jubilee woodland project in Leicestershire that involves planting around 275,000 trees is now two thirds complete with the remaining work scheduled to be finished by the end of 2015.

Tilhill Forestry was awarded the contract by the Woodland Trust to create The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood at Normanton Le Heath. The scheme for the 186 hectare (460 acre) site includes planting native species such as oak, birch, rowan and apple, as well as shrubs. All the trees, which vary across the site depending on the soil and drainage, have been chosen to provide habitat for wildlife. A lake in the middle of the site - a former open cast coalmine - is already attracting different raptor species, Lapwings and Skylarks.

Tilhill Forestry Forest Manager Oliver Hands said: "Previously used as private arable land, Normanton Le Heath will be a great place for people to explore with its flourishing woodland, stunning lake and wetlands and open green spaces. We're very proud to be involved in such an important project."

Hundreds of volunteers have already helped plant trees across the Woodland Trust flagship site with the aim of protecting and linking existing wildlife habitats to form continuous woodland, providing vital homes for wildlife and areas for people to relax, explore and enjoy. More community planting events are planned for November.

In just 12 years the trees will be maturing and creating an area of outstanding beauty.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was joined by thousands of people including local school children to officially open the site and plant the first tree. In its largest and most ambitious woodland creation project since 2008, the Woodland Trust hopes the site will give people across the UK access to the wonders of woodland, while creating a natural historical monument that will enable wildlife to thrive. The wood will create a living legacy for The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and add to the Trust's commitment to double native woodland cover by 2050.

Chris Williams, Woodland Trust site manager for the new wood, said: "The UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe - we've just 13% woodland compared to an average of 44% on the Continent, so we need to plant more trees. This project is great because as well as improving the environment and creating new homes for wildlife, it's creating a lasting legacy and celebration for the historical Jubilee whilst bringing the local community together to get involved and create something special.."

Located in the heart of The National Forest in Leicestershire, the new wood will offer easy access for 10 million people, create valuable new habitat for the nation's best-loved species and become the largest continuous block of woodland owned by a single organisation in The National Forest.

The Trust has received generous support from The National Forest Company. Catherine Graham-Harrison OBE, Chair, National Forest Company, said: "The National Forest is the country's most ambitious project to transform a landscape through planting trees and creating other wildlife-friendly habitats, so it is fitting that such prestigious woodland, led by the country's best-known woodland charity, should take root here." SITA Trust has supported the project with an award of £80,664 from their Enriching Nature programme, towards the planting of 50,490 trees.

Sainsbury's is the lead corporate sponsor for the Woodland Trust's Jubilee Woods Project. Over fifteen months, Sainsbury's is supporting the project and raising £1.5 million for tree planting by increasing the number of donations made from products in store. Sainsbury's will later this year also be giving customers the opportunity to make a 'pledge' in store to plant a tree to mark the Diamond Jubilee and promoting activity through the retailer's Active Kids scheme, to encourage schools to plant trees.

Diamond partners IKEA, the Daily Mail, Biffa Award, the Forestry Commission, and CDENT (Country Durham Environmental Trust) have also generously supported the Jubilee Woods project.

Tilhill Forestry, established more than 60 years ago, is a national company operating from a network of offices throughout the UK. UPM Tilhill is the UK's largest forest management and timber harvesting company. The company provides a full range of consultancy and contracting services to the forest owner and forestry investor.Further information is available at www.tilhill.com


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