TWO woods in the borough are set to benefit from a new plan to plant 80,000 trees across north Hampshire.

The Forestry Commission is planting across the region this winter including at woodlands in Weston Common and Basing Wood.

Planted in the commission’s 100th year, the new trees will support habitats for wildlife, produce sustainable timber for the future, and inform research into how trees can adapt to future climate change.

In total around 15 different types of trees will be planted across 10 local woodlands.

These include traditional species plus a small number of exotic types of trees like Chinese Mahogany and Tulip.

The program also heralds the return of new Elm trees to the area, a species which used to be common place in local woodlands.

Tree planting at Weston Common will help to restock this woodland affected in 2014 by tree disease which resulted in over 16 hectares of Southern Beech trees needing to be removed.   

Basing Wood will see the welcome return of Elm trees to the woodland landscape using specially-developed Dutch Elm disease resistant species.

These trees will be planted along the Butterfly Trail in the wood to attract and support locally found species particularly the White Letter Hair Streak butterfly.

Michael Ullman, forester for the area with the Forestry Commission said; “In this centenary year for the Forestry Commission, we are embarking on a major planting programme.

"Each project has been carefully created to help restock forests and woodland areas, ensuring they provide the right habitats for local wildlife and a sustainable source of timber.

"We are also supporting work looking at how different types of trees respond to threats like disease and climate change.

"This will help us understand how best to ensure our woodlands can adapt and remain resilient in the future.”