PLANS to create a 60-acre broadleaf woodland to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee are being put before the public over the coming weeks.
The woodland, which will see more than 30,000 trees planted behind Nova Hreod College, will connect Shaw Forest Park with Mouldon Hill Country Park and Purton Woods, creating the borough’s largest continuous woodland of more than 100 hectares.
It will include a mix of open spaces to retain views and complement existing wildlife habitats, while also providing good access to the public.
Almost half of the area earmarked for the woodland will remain as open space and will not involve any planting on sensitive wildlife sites.
It will also be directly accessible from the Old Town Railway path.
The aim is to plant the trees this winter and members of the public and schoolchildren will be encouraged to help.
The project is being led by the Great Western Community Forest, Swindon Borough Council and the Woodland Trust and will be one of 60 “diamond woods” being created across the country to mark the diamond jubilee.
Through its Jubilee Woods project, the Woodland Trust aims to plant six million native trees across the UK, providing a lasting, living legacy to celebrate the Queen’s reign.
Coun Dale Heenan , the Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Sustainability, said: “I am really pleased we are creating this Diamond Wood to connect Shaw Forest Park with Mouldon Hill Country Park and Purton Woods.
“The area is already known to be rich in wildlife, thanks to the River Ray and its meadows.
“And, by creating a mix of open space to retain views, complementing existing wildlife habitats, providing good access for the public and planting new trees, this project will turn derelict and former landfill land into an amenity which will benefit the borough.
“And it will be a lasting legacy to celebrate the Queen’s 60-year reign.
Georgina McLeod, the head of Jubilee Woods at the Woodland Trust, said: “We are delighted Swindon Council has chosen to create a Diamond Wood.
“In just 10 years the trees will be taller than the average person and wonderful for wildlife.
Members of the public are being invited to find out more about the plans at some locality meetings later this month. For details visit www.swindon.gov.uk.
For details about the project itself email jubileewoods@ swindon.gov.uk