4,000 tree saplings to create ‘Corona Wood’

An incredible 4,000 new saplings have been planted at a private woodland in Kettlethorpe, near Lincoln which will help to create a wildlife corridor between two existing woods.

The newly created Corona Wood, named to signify the time when it was planted, has been created with the help of a financial donation in 2021 by Lincolnshire-based Hortifeeds – a division of Nutrel Products Limited, will become a 10-acre wood consisting of eight varieties of trees and shrubs.

Planted mainly with Oak, it will also consist of Silver-Birch and Small-Leaf Lime alongside Juniper, Hazel and Hawthorn amongst others.

Owned by Rodge and Alison Brownlow, who have spent almost 40 years nurturing and creating a private space and woodland, the new saplings will add to woods created in 1993 and 2006, and will take the total of trees planted to almost 11,000.

The couple first embarked on the process of creating the new wood in February 2021, taking almost nine months from initial planning to approval from the Forestry Commission in early-December.

Taking just three days to plant, the saplings should take approximately five years to settle in before their protective supports will be removed.

Hortifeeds is located just a few minutes’ walk from the new wood, which will now become part of the existing local ecosystem as Paul Gooding, Hortifeeds chairman, says: “Creating and protecting open spaces and woodlands will be vital as we move towards a low-carbon economy and we are delighted to support Rodge and Alison in helping to preserve a local woodland right in the heart of the community.

“When we last visited, the area was just grassland, but it has been transformed so quickly which is fantastic to see.”

Buying their first, 13-acre woodland in 1983, the Brownlow’s have gradually acquired adjoining land which now covers around 100 acres, with woodland covering approximately 60 per cent.

The creation of the five-acre Tawny Wood in 1993 and 10-acre Botany Wood in 2006, which was named after Botany Bay Farm – a farm located on an old map of the area – will be joined by Corona Wood and will be home to wildlife such as badgers, voles and barn owls.

Commenting on the planting, owner Rodge Brownlow, says: “Both Alison and I are avid conservationists and are passionate about protecting the local environment and wildlife.

“Each of our woods are named after wildlife or a specific moment in time, as has Corona Wood, which has been developed to help absorb and reduce carbon emissions in the years to come, as well as connect two of the existing woods.

“Whilst a private space, we do provide guided walks to enable the local community to enjoy the area as much as we do.

“The planting of the wood has gone really well. Winter is an ideal time to plant the saplings as they are dormant and come spring the new trees will have an established root zone, which will improve growth and help protect against some of the wildlife.

“We cannot thank Hortifeeds and those involved enough for enabling the vision of the wood to become a reality.”