A NEW tree nursery for a Somerset beauty spot was given the go-ahead this week.

The scheme in Exmoor National Park has been backed by funding from Devon Environment Foundation, Devon Community Foundation and donations to CareMoor for Exmoor.

Graeme McVittie, senior woodlands officer for Exmoor National Park, said: “The new tree nursery will be an important source of high-quality saplings, derived from seeds gathered locally with the help of communities and volunteers, who will also be offered expert training.

"Species such as wych elm, aspen, black poplar and whitebeams, can be harder to source from commercial nurseries, so we particularly hope to create a pipeline to increase representation of these distinctive varieties.”

The tree nursery forms part of the 'Land Visioning' work the National Park Authority is leading across its own estate, bringing together stake holders to propose ways of enhancing the land for nature, climate mitigation and cultural heritage.

An update on proposals is due to be given on the April 6 Exmoor National Park Authority meeting.

A report released ahead of the meeting has detailed four initial projects for Exmoor.

These include:

n Funding for a new tree nursery based on the Dartmoor Moor Trees model and aimed at creating resilient native woodlands on Exmoor with the help of local communities.

n The planting of around 12,000 trees to establish new woodland at Bye Hill near Winsford, thanks to a Countryside Stewardship Woodland Creation Grant and funding from Somerset West and Taunton Council.

n Restoring a former Picturesque wild garden in Simonsbath, dating from the Georgian era, with the help of the community and local volunteers.

n A trial of peatland restoration at Larkbarrow, near Exford, aimed at restoring the hydrology of the peat bogs to enhance natural habitats and increase carbon sequestration and further boosting the Site of Special Scientific Interest towards favourable condition.

Rob Wilson-North, Exmoor National Park Authority’s head of conservation and access, added: “The Defra-commissioned Landscapes Review challenged National Parks to do more for nature.

"Behind each of these initial projects is our ambition to address the climate emergency and the ecological crisis; to care for Exmoor’s cultural heritage and to ensure that Exmoor continues to provide the beauty and tranquillity that is so vital to people’s health and wellbeing.

"We feel the time is right to use our own land to rise to some of the big challenges of our time.”