Ireland: Canadian donor helps to reconnect Oak and Ervey woodland

An “anonymous Canadian tree enthusiast” has donated £150,000 to the
Woodland Trust to purchase a 58-acre site between Oaks Wood and Ervey
Wood at Burntollet near Derry. The site – which has already been named
Burntollet Wood – is to be planted with thousands of trees to link
existing woodlands.

It will also create a buffer zone to protect local
flora and fauna, which include the endangered red squirrel. Gregor
Fulton from the Woodland Trust explained that the area had always been
wooded. “The earliest maps we have date from the 16th century, and the
area is marked as woodland on those maps,” he said. “Obviously
woodlands are now rarer, and need more protection.

“This money will
allow us to create a buffer zone along the edges of the ancient
woodland which will protect the woodland and the species in it. “Fauna
like the red squirrel will now have a larger area to inhabit, and will
move into the new woods straight away,” said Mr Fulton. “Flora is a
different matter, it can take centuries to encroach into a new area,
but now we’ve got centuries. “Once these trees are planted, they will
be there forever,” he said.

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