Saving saplings from The Avenue

Portsmouth Water is supporting local volunteers to collect hundreds of young trees from woodland at the reservoir site, to be replanted locally as part of the Havant Thicket Reservoir project.

Volunteers have been visiting the reservoir site and have collected around 250 saplings from The Avenue woodland. The saplings have been planted into compostable pots provided by Portsmouth Water and placed in a safe area the volunteers can access to water them. Later they will be planted locally in the planned mitigation and compensation areas for the reservoir.

An additional nursery is also being created on site to home around 200 tiny oak saplings which were grown from acorns gathered on site, mainly from The Avenue.

Ruari Maybank, Project Director, Havant Thicket Reservoir, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers who have dedicated their time and energy to relocate these saplings. Ensuring that the local environment is respected and enhanced is vital to the Havant Thicket Reservoir project and I am very grateful for the support of our local community in helping us to achieve this together.”

Tracey Viney, who led the volunteer working parties, said: “More than twenty enthusiastic volunteers from the communities to the east, west and south of the reservoir site, as well as from further afield came to help. We were all passionate about relocating as many young trees as we could from The Avenue woodland. It is great that some of the genes from the trees that will be lost have been saved to help create new and enhanced woodland areas for local wildlife.”

As part of the Havant Thicket Reservoir project, Portsmouth Water has developed an extensive environmental mitigation and compensation package which includes creating and improving more than 200 hectares of woodland and wood pasture.

Large-scale habitat restoration will be undertaken within Havant Thicket woodland, Bell’s Copse and on Portsmouth Water owned land in Staunton Country Park. Portsmouth Water will also create 80 hectares of wood pasture on a local plot of land and is working with a local environmental group to relocate 80 trees from within The Avenue and replant these locally.

For more information about Havant Thicket Reservoir, visit: