AN intricate mapping project has revealed vital information for the future of Exmoor’s two million trees.

Exmoor National Park Authority carried out an intensive study using detailed national tree data to map the tree canopy within the moor landscape and the number of non-woodland trees across the area.

The project team found there were about 1.5 million trees in hedges and another 500,000 in fields across Exmoor.

After careful analysis, the study also revealed vital information about the type, age, and diversity of Exmoor’s trees and the fact that there were areas outside of woodland which would be prime spots for tree planting.

The study showed that while there had been a lot of work so far with tree planting, more was needed outside the woodlands to replace those suffering from disease or climatic stress and nearing the end of their lives.

The team concluded that by planting just one tree on available land, it would help to offer a healthier future for Exmoor’s woodlands.

They found that nearly half of English neighbourhoods had less than 10 per cent tree cover, with lower-income areas having far fewer trees than wealthier ones.

England’s tree cover was just 12.8 per cent, with only 10 per cent made up by woodland, in comparison with the EU where woodland cover stands at 38 per cent.

The Government aimed to increase tree cover to 16 per cent by 2050 under plans to reach net zero and protect biodiversity.

Having more trees in the local area was also beneficial for health and wellbeing, the UK Health Security Agency has said.

Exmoor senior conservation officer Graeme McVittie said: “Trees outside of woodlands are often in the farmed landscape so it is a positive for farmers’ activities and something they can help with and benefit from.

“We want to thank farmers for their continued efforts in including tree planting on their land, shown in the data we found in our tree mapping project.

“But trees outside of woodland can be any tree in a field, hedge, or even just on homeowner land.

“We want to appeal to anybody with a bit of space to help us continue the good work done so far and there are incentives to help with that.

“Trees are subject to the effects of disease, age, and climate change, and eventually need replacing to keep that sustainable tree canopy.

“We can all get involved.

“It does not have to involve huge effort our outlay.

“Even the addition of one tree to a field can make a real impact if it is well looked after and allowed to reach its full mature size.”

Mr McVittie said there were many national organisations and schemes which supported local tree planting.

He said: “If every house, farm, business, local club, or organisation, or village green planted just one tree, we could see a significant impact on the future health of our tree canopy.

“Every single tree counts.”

Anybody who would like to know more about the grants, advice, and help which is on offer if they have space to plant a tree should email [email protected] or [email protected].