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Woodland planted on family farm in Hockwold cum Wilton nominated for national Woodland Trust award

George Atkin in the woodland created at the family farm near Hockwold cum Wilton which has been nominated for a Woodland Trust award. Picture: Sonya Duncan

George Atkin in the woodland created at the family farm near Hockwold cum Wilton which has been nominated for a Woodland Trust award. Picture: Sonya Duncan

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

Woodland planted on a family farm to help ensure it is passed on in good condition for the next generation is in the running to be named as the best in Britain.

Woodland planted by George Atkin at the family farm near Hockwold cum Wilton which has been nominated for a Woodland Trust award. Picture: Sonya Duncan Woodland planted by George Atkin at the family farm near Hockwold cum Wilton which has been nominated for a Woodland Trust award. Picture: Sonya Duncan

George Atkin spent two weeks in February planting 525 native tree species and 200 shrubs on Fields Farm in Hockwold cum Wilton, near Brandon.

The farm is currently run by his mother Trisha and farm manager Steven Harrison but Mr Atkins, who helps out on the farm, hopes to become the sixth generation of farmer.

The 1.5 acre woodland, he said, will be his legacy for the future.

The 27-year-old said: “I am looking to get more involved in the farm and this is a small step in that direction.

George Atkin in the woodland created at the family farm near Hockwold cum Wilton which has been nominated for a Woodland Trust award. Picture: Sonya Duncan George Atkin in the woodland created at the family farm near Hockwold cum Wilton which has been nominated for a Woodland Trust award. Picture: Sonya Duncan

“It is for the farm and for my own personal enjoyment. Hopefully it will be the first of more woodland. It will be a legacy for my children.”

The former Royal Agricultural University student, who spent two weeks with friends planting the trees, said he was doing research into the planting of native tree species when he came across the Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods scheme.

The charity offers advice and guidance on creating the woodland and also contributes to the costs of setting up the site.

Mr Atkin’s yet to be named woodland is now competing against 19 others across the country to be named best woodland created under the MOREwoods scheme.

“It is quite a bare landscape and we have got trees but not a lot and I just think they bring benefits both visually and for wildlife,” said Mr Atkin, who works at an orchard near Eye.

“I like native trees and have a thing for British grown ones and spreading the gene of them is important.

“It is nice to take part. I really like what the Woodland Trust do and it is nice to be recognised to be helping them.”

Species of trees which have been planted include oak, wild cherry, Scots pine and sweet chestnut.

Mr Atkin, who also has six Norfolk Horn sheep which he hopes to turn into a flock, added: “I would quite like to put some wild flowers in the wood once it gets a bit more built up.”

The winner of the competition will be announced this month.

For more information about the Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods scheme click here

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