As the seasons turn, we’ve a mag-full of mists and mellow fruitfulness for you to crunch through. Count down to COP26 with our tree-planting special, discover trunk-hugging plans to map Britain’s gnarly ancient giants, and lock paws with charismatic beavers – which could soon be setting up home on our Smithills Estate.

Digging in: tree planting goes large

As COP26 looms, there’s one thing we all agree on: the UK needs millions more trees. In Broadleaf’s lead feature, we discover why blanket planting isn’t the best policy, using our shiny new woodland creation bible as a blueprint.

Read all about:

  • the tailor-made planting plans that maximise the benefits every sapling can bring: for the climate, flood mitigation, soil erosion, wildlife and more.
  • Snaizeholme, our new 222-hectare valley in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which we’ll be transforming with trees.
  • how recognising the quirks and complexities inherent in each landscape helps us work with nature to ensure the most suitable saplings thrive.

Eager for beavers

Britons have long loved these industrious super-sized rodents, with their curious tails, comic chompers and penchant for efficient natural engineering. As beavers' official return to England’s waterways is confirmed, discover:

  • the sylvan valley we’ve earmarked for a potential pair at Smithills, our 690-hectare mix of moors, woods and grassland near Bolton.
  • how the pools formed by beavers’ dams attract a huge array of watery wildlife, from amphibians and insects to mammals and birds.
  • their housebuilding secrets: they build stiff dry lodges with underwater-only gates.

Out there: enjoy a golden stroll

The woods are a riot of colour right now and there are treasures aplenty to plunder, so pull on your comfiest fleece and collect a pocketful of conkers! Our Explorer feature brings you the best autumnal happenings across our estate, including:

  • remembrance trails at our First World War Centenary Woods at Surrey’s Langley Vale and Coed Ffos Las, near Llanelli.
  • coppicing courses at Glen Finglas, in the Trossachs National Park, where your handiwork could give birds and butterflies space to thrive.
  • the whopping new willow sculptures at Hedley Hall near Newcastle, crafted to conjure the rich backstory of this fascinating wood.

Also in this issue

We’ve a bountiful crop of stories for autumn, including:

  • stunning scenery from wild western Scotland, where communities, crofters and schoolchildren have planted 500,000 native trees.
  • a guided romp around our flagship Diamond Jubilee Wood in Leicestershire, planted a decade ago and now bursting with life.
  • an interview with the irrepressible Baroness Floella Benjamin, who shares how a deep love of nature has shaped her extraordinary life.

All this and more in the autumn edition of Broadleaf, free to members of the Woodland Trust.

Broadleaf is our quarterly magazine exclusive to Trust members. Its inspirational writing and stunning photography tell the inside story of how we, our members, volunteers and partners stand up for trees. To receive your regular copy and exciting welcome gift, become a member now.

Juvenile wood warbler on branch

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