A £40,000 appeal to restore and regenerate Dorset woodlands has been launched.
The Dorset Wildlife Trust hopes to raise the money for its Woodland Recovery project, an “urgent” initiative aimed at restoring and regenerating woodlands across the county.
Woodlands play a critical role in supporting biodiversity, offering refuge to thousands of species and a natural solution to the climate crisis through storing carbon and their potential to limit flooding, the charity said.
However, diseases such as ash dieback, development pressure and the effects of climate change have all diminished and divided woodlands in Dorset.
In turn, many wildlife species which depend on woodland habitats for their food and shelter are at risk.
Andrew Pollard, conservation director at the Trust, said: “Woodlands are incredibly important for many species of wildlife and essential in the fight against climate change.
“But it’s not just wildlife which needs woodlands; they provide inspiration and space for thousands of people of all ages to walk, picnic, climb trees, exercise and simply connect with nature.
“So, we must do everything we can to protect the health and resilience of Dorset’s woodlands for ourselves and for generations to come.
“With no known cure for ash dieback and the effects of climate change becoming ever clearer, our work to manage existing woodlands in the best possible way for wildlife and nature becomes ever more crucial.
“I very much hope that everyone will donate to our Woodland Recovery Appeal if they can.”
The Woodland Recovery project aims to combat a number of challenges facing Dorset’s woodlands through finding ways to reduce the impact of ash dieback on wildlife and regenerating woodland habitats through traditional management techniques such as coppicing.
Donations to the appeal will also help create more woodland on Dorset Wildlife Trust nature reserves by planting native trees and encouraging neighbouring landowners to do the same.
Another aim of the project is to acquire more land to reconnect woodland areas to give wildlife more space to move freely and safely across the landscape.
For more information, and to donate to the Woodland Recovery Appeal, visit https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/appeals/woodland-recovery-appeal.