Planting the future at Yeo Valley community woodland

January 16, 2024

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Rooted in Community: Team TD help with Planting the Future at Yeo Valley Community Woodland

Based in the heart of North Devon, the Yeo Valley Community Woodland is a testament to one of the many community-driven, environmental projects based in the South West. On a fresh January morning, some members of the Turnstyle team wrapped up and joined Richard Irvine, a local teacher in outdoor learning and experiences, volunteering to help with the expansion of this area and plant new tree saplings.


The team embarked on a mission to plant a section of Douglas Fir trees which will help to play a small but impactful role in the woodland’s on going growth.

Before delving into the tree planting mission, the team took a moment to learn about the area, take in their surroundings including some stunning views over Barnstaple.

This wild green landscape serves as a haven for both nature and the local community. Now, thanks to the efforts of the North Devon District Council (NDDC), the woodland is expanding, with plans to plant 5,500 trees this winter.

"I found our day with Richard very interesting. Discovering how the trees we planted will grow for 80 years, after this they are cut down which locks the carbon inside. The wood will go on to be used in eco-friendly construction. A much more carbon efficient process which is great for the planet.Although it was only a little step forward, I left feeling proud myself and the team had helped contribute to improving the environment. Not just because of the carbon offset but to know the woodlands created will be home to an array of animals and wildlife for years to come."

One of the distinctive features of this tree planting initiative is the diversity of trees being introduced throughout different seasons. This strategic approach aims to create a rich habitat mix, enhancing the overall biodiversity of the woodland. School groups and enthusiastic public volunteers, including team  Turnstyle, are all grabbing their shovels to in aid of the environment and a greener future.

The goal for the day was to plant a section of Douglas Fir trees, and the team achieved remarkable success with approximately 70-80 trees planted within the morning. Following the slit method, recommended by the Woodland Trust, each tree received careful attention to ensure the best chance of survival.

"After a chilly start to the day we soon warmed up by planting around 80 trees! Lovely to spend the morning outdoors in nature and helping very worthwhile cause, Turnstyle will definitely be back to plant more."

Each tree was equipped with a mat and peg in the corners, providing protection from weeds and preventing excessive drying. Guards and bamboo canes were placed to protect the young saplings from potential wildlife threats, ensuring their survival in the important early stages of growth.

These tree planting efforts were not made possible without the invaluable guidance of Richard Irvine. The team at Turnstyle Designs are incredibly grateful to him for his expertise and commitment to sustainable causes. Our small but impactful actions, alongside the collaborative efforts of Richard and the North Devon District Council, are a great example of the power in community engagement helping to create a greener, more sustainable future. 

Find the exact location of the Turnstyle tree saplings here: slams.overlooks.oval  We look forward to returning at some point in the future to see their progress.

To contact Richard and find out more about his work, find him here on Facebook and Instagram.

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