Exmoor Woodland Creation

Public Sector • North Devon, Somerset West and Taunton

The vision is to create a unique and sustainable woodland in Exmoor National Park using only the best environmentally-friendly practices.

  • Artist's impression of Bye Wood
  • Exmoor painted by Leo Davey.

Exmoor National Park's Story

Exmoor National Park has 9,500ha of woodlands, equivalent to 14% of the National Park. This includes 3,327ha of ancient woodlands and over 1,657 veteran trees. Exmoor National Park Authority owns and manages around 570ha of this woodland, and is working with partners to increase coverage to 17% in line with the UK government's independent Climate Change Committee. As part of this, the biggest woodland creation project to have taken place in the National Park in the past 15 years is taking shape at Bye Wood, near Winsford. The vision is to create a unique and sustainable woodland using only the best environmentally-friendly practices.

Bye Wood will include planting 13,000 trees over 12 hectares, using only locally sourced wood. Careful structural planting will support tree growth and resilience to a changing climate, and sustainable organic and physical methods of planting will be used in preference to chemicals. Tree guards will be plastic-free.

The new woodland will nurture new wildlife habitats and include community areas to connect people with nature. Over the next 20 years, Bye Wood will sequester around 668 tonnes of carbon.

Useful Learnings from Exmoor National Park

Get volunteers involved from an early stage to inform how the woodland is designed, including spaces for people to enjoy the woodland. Volunteers and local school children can also help to collect seeds and plant trees.

Try and be as sustainable as possible; for example, we researched alternative tree guards to avoid using plastic. Fully research the impacts both positive and negative and design the project around these impacts. Engage with interest groups at the earliest stages.

Exmoor National Park's Metrics

Ecological monitoring to determine change from open ground to woodland habitat.
Monitoring tree species.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Positive Impacts

Thriving Wildlife

Response to climate crisis





Public Sector, 50 to 249 people

Shared by

South West Net Zero Hub

Updated Nov, 2023

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