Planting Trees at Thornley Wood Community Site

With grateful thanks to the Woodland Trust the Heart of Durham Project has managed to secure a further 420 trees to be planted at the Thornley Wood Community Site situated just below Tow Law.

On Friday the 17th of November the Heart of Durham Task Force commenced clearing the second part of the site ready for the next round of planting. Brash was cleared and stacked, nettles scythed and some interesting fly tipping cleared.

Thornley Wood is owned by Wolsingham Parish Council who, in early 2016, approached Durham Wildlife Trust’s Heart of Durham Project, for advice on habitat management for the site. The original plantation, was over 25 years old, had become unstable with windblown trees like “pickup sticks” collapsed on top of each other. A decision to clear fell the whole site meant that there was scope to replant and landscape the area for amenity and wildlife benefits.

Last year, 2016, 1205 trees were planted of the total number of 2755 recommended by the Forestry Commission. Led by the Heart of Durham Project, the small saplings were planted by pupils from schools in Wolsingham and Tow Law, Beavers and Sea Scouts from Darlington as well as Beavers and Cubs from Tow Law. Members of the Community also turned out to lend their support for a mass planting day on March the 11th when the remaining trees were planted by 47 people who dropped into plant “their tree”

So this year another 420 trees will be planted and there is an invitation for people to come along and plant a tree at Thornley on Saturday the 2nd of December from 10.00am until 12.30am. For more information contact Anne Porter,


It is exciting times as the trees, a mixture of broad leaved species will eventually provide, colour throughout the seasons, with spring blossom and autumn fruits, shelter for insects and birds as well as contributing to making the wood, a wood once more for all to enjoy.

With the clearance of the old pine wood, over the summer months, a proliferation of wild flowers have poked their heads up between the wood debris and over the autumn months wonderful fungi have appeared. So the site is evolving in an interesting way.

Thank you to the Heart of Durham Volunteers, seen here with Pooh Bear who had been abandoned, for their efforts in helping rejuvenate Thornley Wood.