Coxmoor Golf Club

Increasing woodland and healthy wood pasture habitat with volunteers

Greenwood Community Forest

Trees for Climate, Year 4

Ben Cumberland, head greenkeeper at Coxmoor Golf Club, Nottinghamshire came to long-term partner The Sherwood Forest Trust (SFT) with a vision: to increase the biodiversity habitat on 14 hectares of unproductive grassland owned by the golf club adjoining the main course.

Ben and SFT’s idea was to create a design that would extend the mosaic of acid grassland, heather, mature individual trees, and woodland copses outward from the playing boundary onto the former grassland. It would then eventually turn from low-density planting into areas of high forest complete with woody shrubs blending into its surroundings.

An amazing 9229 new native trees were planted with care by SFT staff and over 175 volunteers between November 2023 and February 2024. It was a fantastic team effort expertly organised and managed by the Sherwood Forest Trust.

The new woodland provides essential habitat and a wildlife corridor in otherwise arable Nottinghamshire farmland.

Thank you to all involved for helping to create such a rich and varied habitat next to the golf course, I look forward to seeing it develop and flourish over the coming years

Ben Cumberland, Head Greenkeeper, Coxmoor Golf Club


Head greenkeeper Ben Cumberland has been managing the heathland and woodland habitat at Coxmoor Golf Club for many years alongside maintaining the manicured playing surface of the course. When the opportunity arose to bring back in-house the management of an adjoining 14 hectares of farmed grassland owned by the club, Ben saw the opening to create a new purpose from that land to enhance the existing course.

Greenwood Community Forest in partnership with the Sherwood Forest Trust were very pleased to help Ben design his new woodland and heathy wood pasture mosaic and organise funding via the Trees for Climate programme. A mix of 9229 new native trees were planted including oak, silver birch, scotts pine, field maple, hawthorn, hazel, gorse and dogwood.

The planting included tree shelters to protect the trees to give them the best start in the early years of the new woodland. Ben is looking forward to caring for the new trees as they grow and has kindly invited all involved to re-visit as the woodland develops in future years.


Enhancing wildlife:

Connecting with existing trees and hedgerows an additional 14 hectares of deciduous native woodland and essential new habitat has been created. A once species poor area will soon offer a home to woodland birds, bats, small mammals and invertebrates. Within the scheme, the additional creation of 7ha of acid grassland and lowland heathland combined with low density planting will bolster the remaining remnants of this habitat that was once widespread over most of Nottinghamshire and in time support rare species such as woodlark and nightjar.

Contribution to Net Zero:

Trees are one of the best solutions to the climate emergency. As the new woodland grows the trees will remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere trapping it in their trunks, leaves, roots and in the soil.

Engagement, health and wellbeing:

Planting trees brings colleagues and work teams together and gives a sense of achievement. Volunteers from Minster FB and KPMG not only learned how to plant a tree, but the experience also sparked conversations around making sustainable lifestyle choices and gardening for wildlife at home.

Planting trees gives us all hope for the future and make us feel like we are making a contribution. Enjoying a day volunteering outside and playing an active role in nature conservation helps us with our physical and mental health and sense of wellbeing.

Employment and skills

Planting trees in Sutton-in-Ashfield provided UPS and NTU students with the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people. Everyone worked as a team, and staff from the Sherwood Forest Trust were able to pass on their knowledge and passion for nature restoration.