The Stansted Park Charitable Foundation is offering the chance to restore its forest, planting thousands of trees to recreate woodland cover, offset emissions and create wildlife habitats.

The Foundation has reluctantly begun a major felling programme, under licence from the Forestry Commission because of the Ash dieback disease (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) – most of this species at Stansted Park has some degree of infection and young trees in particular are either dead or dying.

This virulent disease weakens even larger trees, reducing their ability to fight secondary pathogens and making them unstable. This has serious safety implications in areas of public access, or adjacent to roads and buildings. Managing them is fraught with danger, meaning landowners are, with heavy hearts, having to fell large numbers of ash trees.

This was a last resort for our Head Forester Michael Prior, and something he never wanted to do. “Ash is one of our most common trees and its widespread loss will have a disastrous effect. The species is vital for biodiversity, with huge numbers of creatures reliant on it for food or habitat. Old trees, with numerous cavities, are homes for birds, insects, bats and a myriad of insects and fungi.”

“Many superb young trees have to be felled and sold at a fraction of their potential value rather than as fine timber in the future.”


The cost of replanting these large areas is huge but a vital part of Stansted Park’s charitable mission. A mix of native hardwoods will optimise biodiversity and the introduction of new species, able to thrive in our changing climate, will add seasonal colour. New access paths will be created to enhance visitors’ experience.

The Foundation is hoping individual sponsors will ‘buy a tree’, perhaps as a present for family members or in memory of a loved one.

While it won’t be possible to identify your individual tree, you will be able to specify which area and species you’d like and know that you have permanently committed to the restoration of the forest.’

For those who would like to contribute to this wonderful project the suggested cost of sponsorship is £10 per tree, this will guarantee the correct planting and maintenance of each tree over a five year growing period and will enable the woodland to fully establish itself once again.

If you would like to be involved by sponsoring a tree please call 02392 412 265 to order a form by post or visit to download our tree sponsorship pack.

Stansted Park Foundation. Rowlands Castle, Hampshire. PO9 6DX.

Posted on Sun, 13/09/2020 - 17:03