VOLUNTEERS will be helping to plant 500 trees on the Blackdown Hills above Wellington on Friday (March 1).

Saving Devon’s Treescapes (SDT) is holding an event on Troakes Farm, Clayhidon, between Hemyock and Churchinford.

SDT works with communities and private landowners to plant copses and hedgerows to replace some of the habitats which are being lost to the countryside.

The group has been running since 2020 and is led by Devon Wildlife Trust on behalf of the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum.

It is looking for volunteers to help, who can register for the event here.

The trees are all UK-grown broadleaf species two to three years old and about eight to 12 inches in height.

There will be a demonstration and support throughout the event, which runs from 10 am to 3 pm, for anybody who has not planted a tree before.

An SDT spokesperson said: “Devon’s tree-scapes are stunning and crucial habitats for so much wildlife.

“But they are under threat from ash dieback, which is estimated to kill at least 90 per cent of Devon’s ash trees in the coming years.

“It will affect everybody, but everybody can be part of the solution.”

The spokesperson said volunteers were recommended to wear boots and warm, waterproof layers of clothing, and to take a bottle of water and snacks.

SDT, which has a community tree nursery in North Devon producing 7,500 cell-grown trees every year for communities to plant locally for free, aims to plant 250,000 trees in five years.