Volunteer plea for Northwood project

Elliot Apps helps his mum Alison Stevens and Toby West carve the sculpture
Elliot Apps helps his mum Alison Stevens and Toby West carve the sculpture

A NEW wood is taking shape on the Slindon Estate and more volunteers are wanted to join in.

Further tree planting dates for the woodland restoration have been arranged for January 18, February 18 and March 7.

The first occasion saw 3,000 trees planted in just two days. But there are another 10,500 left.

Northwood’s project leader, ranger Hannah Woodhouse, said: “We’ve still got quite a long way to go, with around 10,000 more saplings to plant.

“But we’re hoping people continue to come forward during our other planting dates in winter and spring.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to be physically involved in the creation of beautiful landscape that will be part of the English countryside for decades.”

The initiative is the National Trust’s biggest woodland restoration project.

Among those who took part in the first weekend of planting was local resident John Archer.

He said: “This project is fabulous and the weekend has been a huge success. It was such a lovely team effort.”

Visitors were also encouraged to pick up a chisel and help internationally-renowned John Edgar work on his 2.5-ton Portland stone sculpture, which commemorates The Rise of Northwood project.

Joining the trees in the woodland will be thousands of seeds collected from the surrounding woodland.

An area of grazed wood pasture – an historical feature before 1800 – will be introduced later in the ten-year project.

During the first world war, a part of Northwood was felled for timber by Canadian foresters using prisoners of war to produce materials such as coal mine pit props and trench reinforcements.

The second world war saw it ploughed up for agricultural production.

The Rise of Northwood became possible when the National Trust received a bequest from John Springthorpe Hunt, who loved the South Downs.

More details are available from 01243 814730 or riseofnorthwood@nationaltrust.org.uk.