This season, let Broadleaf lead you on a leafy exploration of gorgeous Heartwood in St Albans, where 15 years ago volunteers patted 600,000 saplings into the earth. Today, they form a towering, swaying young forest, filled with wildlife. Then join us for a hike into the Highlands, where we’re working to revive ancient Caledonian pinewoods decimated by climate change and greedy deer. Finally, meet our ambassador, actress Charity Wakefield, who spills on mole-spotting with Mark Rylance and why tree-top hideouts are great places to learn your lines in peace.

Heartwood: a 15-year labour of love

Creating a thriving, nature-rich forest takes less time than you’d think. In 2008, tens of thousands of volunteers came together on a 860-acre stretch of farmland on London’s greenbelt to plant more than half a million trees. Discover:

  • the extraordinary and beautiful wildlife that moved in to make the young wood home. Plus: why invertebrates and pollinators love the colourful flora that spikes the understory and scatters the meadows.
  • the dedicated band of expert wildlife monitors who give their time freely to trap, record and release species as diverse as common lizard, wood mouse, field vole and pygmy shrew.
  • how bare fields were transformed to become a stronghold for some of Britain’s rarest raptors, including barn owls, kestrels and hen harriers.

In the pines: reviving Scotland’s lost woods

Caledonian pinewoods once cloaked 2.5 million acres of the Highlands: today, just a few scattered fragments remain. Our new project will hunt them down, put them on the map, then work to resurrect this once-mighty habitat. Find out:

  • how intrepid professor Jock Carlisle first set out to search for lost pines in the 1950s – thwarted by stags, beset by mishaps, and fuelled by Benzedrine.
  • the ways climate change, tribal forest dwellers and booming populations of deer have shaped the future of the forest – and what must be done to reverse its fortunes now time is running out.
  • why stepping in to save this hardy, iconic species is so vital for the survival of rare and precious wildlife, from red squirrel and pine marten to capercaillie and golden eagle.

Summer: the perfect season to explore

The sun’s out, the sky’s blue, there are butterflies, birds and buds to view: what’s not to love? Even the least outdoorsy of your clan can be coaxed into the countryside when the weather’s warm. Turn Broadleaf’s pages to find:

  • how the hunt is on at Loch Arkaig, where six caskets of treasure are hidden among the trees. The trail mirrors the myth of the lost gold sent by Spanish galleons in 1745. Can you recoup the booty?
  • which bats are best? Shrill pipistrelles, gingery, dog-like noctules or rare barbastelles, which we hope to lure to Dorset’s pretty Duncliffe Woods with specially made ‘crevice boxes’. Our volunteer bat-checker tells all!
  • why now’s the time to hie down to Hainault Forest in Essex: our first visitor centre has officially opened its doors, while the woods have ancient oaks and pollarded hornbeams aplenty to ogle.

And there’s more...

Our summer edition is bursting with tales worth shouting from the treetops. Open up to explore:

  • why Wolf Hall actress Charity Wakefield is so mad about trees, from the hollow churchyard yew she hid inside as a child to the bee-magnet cherry festooned with bird boxes in her southeast London garden.
  • the latest news and events from the woods, including a glimpse into one of the glorious 140 ancient woods dedicated to the late Queen Elizabeth, and the determined band of Glaswegians fighting poverty with trees.
  • rugged Brynau Farm in Neath, south Wales, where our bespoke woodland walk wends. Our £2.2million project there will plant 150,000 trees for the future, creating the biggest new native woodland in Wales.

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

Broadleaf is our 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, become a member now.

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