Sycamores felled with 100 new trees planted in popular woodland

Members of the Gunton Woodland Community Project (GWCP) planting trees in the past few weeks.

Members of the Gunton Woodland Community Project (GWCP) planting trees in the past few weeks. Picture: GWCP - Credit: GWCP

It is a woodland spot that has been hailed as a “lifeline” for visitors during lockdown.

Now a group overseeing Gunton Wood in Lowestoft has planted almost 100 new trees on the 6.1 acres - two-and-a-half hectares - of land, lauded as a "safe and wonderful haven" for wildlife and visitors.

With the Gunton Woodland Community Project (GWCP) having reported “a vast increase in footfall” during the pandemic, the new trees have been planted in the past few weeks to replace about 20 mature sycamores that "had to be felled for safety reasons."

Members of the Gunton Woodland Community Project (GWCP) preparing to plant new trees.

Members of the Gunton Woodland Community Project (GWCP) preparing to plant new trees. Picture: GWCP - Credit: GWCP

For David Briggs, chairman of GWCP, the woodland has proved to be vitally important over the past year.

Mr Briggs said: "It has been a year since we were stopped from working in Gunton Wood because of the Covid pandemic.

Members of the Gunton Woodland Community Project (GWCP) carrying out work.

Members of the Gunton Woodland Community Project (GWCP) carrying out work. Picture: GWCP - Credit: GWCP


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"But we have been able to do some health and safety work, and also - for a brief period - were able to have some limited work parties.

"The wood has been a lifeline for those that have been in complete lockdown."

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The group said that at the start of this year there were aconites flourishing, with the snowdrops "the best yet."

Mr Briggs added: "Now come to the daffodils and primroses and we wait for May to see the bluebells.

"We have seen a vast increase in footfall within the wood which is a safe and wonderful haven for
wildlife and members of the public.

"We now can attempt limited work once again and for the last three weeks we have been planting trees in the wood to replace 20 or so mature sycamores that had to be felled for safety reasons.

"They had succumbed to a fungal disease called Sooty Bark Disease."

With the new trees supplied by The Woodland Trust and Waveney Norse, Mr Briggs said: "There were nearly 100 planted out in total which had been stored in our nursery.

"They were guarded and staked to protect them from the wildlife which takes a fancy to the young saplings.

Cllr Keith Patience planting a tree in Gunton Wood.

Cllr Keith Patience planting a tree in Gunton Wood. Picture: GWCP - Credit: GWCP

"The stakes were provided from a grant from councillor Keith Patience’s locality budget and our thanks go to Keith for this generous donation."

Cllr Keith Patience staking a tree in Gunton Wood.

Cllr Keith Patience staking a tree in Gunton Wood. Picture: GWCP - Credit: GWCP


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