HARTPURY University and College will plant 5,000 hedge plants and five hectares of trees on its farmland in the next year to improve woodland connectivity for wildlife.

The institution was “proud” to announce its involvement in a multi-agency project to create a 60-mile corridor of enhanced tree cover from Wyre Forest in Worcestershire to the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley in Gloucestershire.

The Severn Treescapes project at Hartpury is being supported by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) with funding from Gloucestershire County Council’s Woodland Trusts Emergency Tree Fund. 

The aim of the initiative for the educator is to demonstrate that increasing woodland connectivity at a regional scale, whether through woodlands, hedgerows, orchards, agroforestry and other tree systems, can work successfully alongside productive agricultural systems. 

The institution says: “Working together, landowners and environmentalists can enhance wildlife habitats, improve shade and shelter and increase biodiversity as a demonstration for other landowners.” 

In addition, Hartpury will support landowner engagement and education at its Agri-Tech Centre and Home Farm, showcasing the benefits of such partnerships for others in the agricultural sector.

Sustainability Director Jackie Jobes said: “We’re thrilled to be part of this transformative Severn Treescapse project, which aligns closely with our commitment to environmental stewardship. 

“By playing a pivotal role in this initiative, Hartpury aspires to make a demonstrable impact on the local ecosystem, fostering greater biodiversity and cultivating a more resilient and sustainable natural environment for generations to come.”

The planting will largely be carried out by college students as part of their estate skills training.

Professor Matt Bell, Director of Agriculture at Hartpury said: “Projects like these are very important to foster greater collaboration between local authorities, wildlife organisations, farmers and landowners.

"Through our Agri-Tech Centre and industry networks, we can help to communicate the many benefits of projects like these and hopefully encourage more landowners to follow suit.”