Thousands of new trees planted near Thorney Island army base

The 'Annual Emsworth St George's Day parade by veterans and 47 Regiment Royal Artillery troops from Thorney Island in 2014

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VOLUNTEERS have celebrated the 10th birthday of a wood by planting an extra 1,500 trees.

More than 40 volunteers braved the elements to plant scores of new trees on Thorney Island, near Emsworth, the home of 12 and 47 Regiment of the Royal Artillery.

It came a decade after an area of disused airfield was planted with 10,000 trees to create a new 18-acre area of broadleaf woodland.

Ten years on, the woodland is starting to become established, but some areas have failed and needed to be replanted after being eaten by deer.

The species planted recently were all local, including oak, hazel and field maple.

The project was led by Chichester Harbour Conservancy and supported by the Army Welfare Service.

Major Chris Hallam, station staff officer at Baker Barracks on Thorney Island, said: ‘I would like to say thank you to everyone involved.

‘We have achieved so much and are very grateful to all the volunteers who have taken part, especially during some pretty soggy weather.’

Nicky Horter, countryside officer at Chichester Harbour Conservancy, said: ‘It has been great to be part of a partnership project to celebrate 10 years of the new woodland.

‘The hard work put in by all of the volunteers will have a lasting benefit for the wildlife and landscape of Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.’

The trees were provided by Chichester Harbour Conservancy, with funding from the Friends of Chichester Harbour.