The Emilie’s Wood project is establishing a native woodland alongside the River Smite in Nottinghamshire. The new woodland connects other areas of existing forest and will provide habitat for woodland species in an area of the country with low tree cover (just 1% in the borough). Glades, rides, and other open spaces are very important structural elements within the design of this woodland, providing valuable habitat for a wide range of wildlife, including locally rare Dark-Green and Silver Wash Fritillary butterflies. Being so close to the River Smite, this woodland will also enhance the riverbank habitat and help support other species native to the local area such as water voles and otters.

The project site is former arable land, which fell out of usage and subsequently turned to poor-quality grass cover, with low levels of biodiversity. With the help of carbon finance, the owner is creating a native woodland on this currently unused land that will improve soil quality, increase biodiversity and be of real value to the village community it borders.

Recreational access for local walkers is being maintained, with a well-used footpath that heads across the site to the riverbank being included in the project’s design.

Due to its close proximity to the River Smite, this woodland has been designed to deliver improvements in water quality, reduce soil erosion and to mitigate the risk of flooding in the area. The woodland will be managed as continuous cover, an approach to forest management that seeks to create more diversity, both structurally and in terms of species composition, by avoiding clearfelling. It can also potentially produce a small amount of woodfuel as it develops, supporting diversification of the rural economy.

Delivering towards the Global Goals

Recreational access for local walkers is being prioritised, delivering various health benefits.

As the trees mature, thousands of tonnes of CO2 will be drawn down from the atmosphere.

Enhancing the nearby riverbank habitat, supporting species native to the local area such as water voles and otters.

Creating and linking habitats for a wide range of wildlife, including locally rare Dark-Green and Silver Wash Fritillary butterflies.

What the carbon finance delivers

The carbon finance is helping the landowner with costs related to the planting, maintenance and monitoring of the woodland – which would otherwise be prohibitively high.