Shaw Forest Park

Partnership working to increase community woodland at Shaw Forest Park in Swindon

Great Western Community Forest

Trees for Climate, Year 4


During March 2024 over 4,000 trees were planted by 90 volunteers on a disused landfill site on the edge of Swindon.

The new woodland was created with the help of the Swindon Wellbeing Programme, which promotes nature-based activities for those living with mental health issues. Volunteers from a local college and Swindon Borough Council, along with local residents, joined the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust in creating the woodland.


Summary

The Great Western Community Forest Team has been working closely with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to deliver increased canopy cover within Shaw Forest, which was a former landfill site between the 1950s and early 2000s.

Over 3.4 hectares of woodland has been created at Shaw Forest by planting a mixture of coniferous, shrubs and native broadleaf trees, thanks to funding from the Trees for Climate programme.


Impacts

The new woodland within the 40-hectare site will complement and enhance the existing mosaic of habitats in Shaw Forest. These include wildflower meadows, wetlands, and reforested woodland.

Contribution to Net Zero:

The additional trees on this site will contribute to Swindon Borough Council’s target of reaching net zero in the Council’s organisational greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and help to protect and enhance the natural environment as set out in its Net Zero Emissions Action Plan.

Nature and Biodiversity:

Ground conditions, soil, and existing vegetation were inspected as part of the team’s surveys. The woodland is designed to blend in with the existing landscape. Tree species chosen were those growing well locally, and include oak, hazel, field maple, hornbeam, and Scots pine.

Health and Wellbeing:

Shaw Forest is a popular destination in Swindon and forms part of the largest green corridor in Swindon which connects the North and West parts of the town. National Cycle Route 45 goes through Shaw Forest, which makes it ideal for environmentally friendly modes of travel.