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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tree planting aims to help rare wildlife

NEW native trees have been planted in a Northumberland wood to help rare wildlife.

Workers from firms across the North East have given up their time to join staff and volunteers from Northumberland Wildlife Trust for the project.

They have been removing non-native trees from Juliet’s Wood nature reserve in Slaley, replacing them with other species.

The trust has brought in a coppice system using wych elm and hazel which it hopes will attract endangered butterflies and wildflowers.

It is hoped the wych elm will benefit and attract the endangered white-letter hairstreak butterfly.

The butterfly lays its eggs on wych elm which has now largely disappeared from the countryside as a result of Dutch elm disease. The disease is spread by the elm bark beetles which enters the tree via mature stems. By coppicing the elm on a 10-year cycle, no stems should reach a stage where the beetle can invade.

Duncan Hutt, head of land management at Northumberland Wildlife Trust, said: “Hopefully, our efforts will attract a very rare species of butterfly back to the region as well as a huge array of birds and invertebrates.”

Article here

The painting is by Eduardo Naranjo

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