Latest News | 1 December 2022

Major tree replanting scheme underway at Chatsworth

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More than 25,000 new trees are being planted at Chatsworth, part of the Devonshire Group, to help restore its woodlands.

The project involves the replanting of Stand Wood, the woodland that sits on the steep hill behind Chatsworth House.

The estate’s forestry team is aiming to create a more diverse woodland with a wider variety of species, including oak, hornbeam, birch, alder, sycamore and yew trees across its 383 acres.

All of the saplings have been grown in UK nurseries and while different species grow at different rates, most of the tree canopy is expected to be above head height in the next 10 to 15 years.

It is hoped that by replanting affected areas with a greater mixture of species will help make Stand Wood more disease resistant.

John Everitt, forestry manager at Chatsworth, said: “We have records showing the woodland has been planted and replanted many times over the centuries.

“It’s part of the natural cycle with older trees and plants replaced with new growth – the trees we have recently replanted will soon grow to create a mature woodland again.

“In fact, one of our retired foresters, Brian Gilbert, recently brought in some photos of him working in Stand Wood in the early 1960s.

“One particular photo caught my attention and shows a young Brian with a piece of pine pit wood slung over his shoulder, probably for use in the collieries that were such an important part of the local economy at the time.

“He’s stood on the road between the Hunting Tower and Park Gate Farm, with the timber on his shoulder being felled from the top side of the track as part of a gale tidy up during a bad winter in February 1963.

“In the background of the picture are young larch, beech, oak and sweet chestnut trees planted following wartime felling.

“These are the same larch and sweet chestnut trees, which we have recently had to fell as mature trees due to the Phytophthora outbreak.”

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