I remain incredibly proud of the strength and dedication shown by the Forest team and our volunteers, whilst we continue to manage the ongoing impact of, and uncertainty around, COVID-19. Thanks to their resilience, despite challenging times, the Forest continued to not only grow but thrive in 2021/22.
A highlight was the planting of the 2 millionth tree, marking an exciting and important milestone in our journey to create and conserve a 30,000 acre Forest to benefit the environment, wildlife, and people for generations to come.
We acquired 209 acres of land, and continued our work creating and enhancing woodland, wetland, grassland, and farmland that make up the rich mosaic of habitats in the Forest. 90,000 trees were planted at two new sites, and a further 25,000 hedgerow trees and shrubs were planted. We have now established almost 4,500 acres of native broadleaf woodland.
The Green Recovery Challenge Fund (GRCF) grant features in all sections of the report this year, as achieving the goals set out in this ground- breaking project was a priority across all of our strategic pillars. Being awarded the £1.7m Defra grant, administered by the Heritage Fund, enabled us to make a step change in our work, benefitting both the Forest and green recovery in the region.
The continued support we have received has never been more needed, so I would like to personally thank all our supporters, donors, corporate partners, and trusts who have so generously helped ensure our important work can continue.
Jon Snow, Chair, the Heart of England Forest