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Largest community woodland in east UK to be created in Essex

Christian Fernsby |
The woodland at Hole Farm near Great Warley, Brentwood in Essex is at the heart of the project’s plans to boost the wildlife and increase habitats in the area.

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Under Forestry England’s care, the 100-hectare site will become home to around 150,000 new trees and provide homes to thousands of native species, from mammals to invertebrates and birds to fungi.

The green space will be designed for people too, and could include facilities such as a café, education centre and a community orchard.

A range of provisions for outdoor activities are also being considered, and new public paths may link to a footbridge across the M25 to create an uninterrupted walking and cycling route between other nearby woodlands, such as Folkes Lane Woodland, Thorndon Country Park and the wider area of the Thames Chase Community Forest.

Forestry England will carry out a consultation later this year to seek the public’s feedback on plans for the site.

The new community woodland is part of Highways England’s commitment to increase biodiversity along England’s Strategic Road Network by 2050 and will go ahead regardless of consent being granted for the Lower Thames Crossing.

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