Devon

Fingle Woods: Trusts open up ancient woodland

Image copyright Paul Glendell/Woodland Trust
Image caption Visitors can now explore 27 miles (45km) of newly reopened footpaths

A multimillion-pound project to safeguard ancient woodland in Devon by two charities has seen several miles of footpaths reopened.

The Woodland Trust and National Trust want to protect and restore Fingle Woods, which is on the edge of Dartmoor, in east Devon.

Visitors can now explore 27 miles (45km) of the woods.

The trusts hope the scheme will benefit species such as the pied flycatcher and fritillary butterflies.

Image caption A representative of the trusts said another £2m was "desperately needed to fund the long-term restoration of the woods"

The organisations raised the money to buy the woodland from donations.

A representative of the trusts said another £2m was "desperately needed to fund the long-term restoration of the woods".

The site is nestled between two National Trust properties - Castle Drogo and Steps Bridge Woods - both of which attract tens of thousands of visitors each year, a trust spokesman said.

So far £3m has been donated to the appeal.

David Rickwood, Woodland Trust site manager for Devon, said: "We are over half way to our £5m fundraising target which is fantastic after just eight months."

Fingle Woods has more than 525 acres (212 hectares) of damaged ancient woodland - the equivalent of 293 football pitches - which have been planted with conifer trees.

Image copyright Paul Glendell/Woodland Trust
Image caption Fingle Woods has more than 525 acres of damaged ancient woodland

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