News Archive


As the woodland at Branston Leas starts to take shape, a new set of information boards have been unveiled to help visitors visualise how the area will look when complete.

The Branston Leas Woods project has been funded and delivered by St. Modwen in partnership with The Woodland Trust, the National Forest Company and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and when complete, will deliver a new beauty spot that will become part of The National Forest, to be enjoyed by generations to come.

Encouraging new visitors to the woodlands and increase accessibility, the group initiative has seen the creation of two information boards which have been positioned at the entrance to the new woodland, plus a new community leaflet which explains the different elements of the forest.

Ian Romano, senior development surveyor at St. Modwen, said: “As the delivery of the woodland at Branston Leas continues at pace, the new information boards will be a hugely useful tool in allowing local residents, schools and other members of the public to get a clearer picture of how the area will look once the trees are in place. They also provide a few ideas for the enjoyment to be had by taking our signposted walk or relaxing in the woodland seating areas where people will be able to spot a variety of wildlife species in their natural habitats.

“In today’s hectic society, the peace and quiet afforded by natural woodland areas and countryside really is something to be treasured, and by creating a new woodland at Branston Leas, we hope to leave a legacy that can be enjoyed by generations to come.”

When complete, the 82 acre Branston Leas Woods will boast a new bluebell woodland next to the River Trent, providing 21,000 trees, including fruit trees and rare black poplar trees, plus a further seven acres of wet grasslands, supporting a host of wildlife habitats, including wetland bird species and grazing livestock that will help manage and increase the biodiversity of the site.

It is hoped that the new information boards and leaflets will help visitors identify and understand the flora and fauna that they might spot at different times of the year, as well as the wildlife that the new woodland will attract 5000 copies of the leaflet have so far been produced, which are available for collection from local libraries and the Branston parish council pavilion. Hundreds of leaflets have also been delivered to schools in the area.

Shaun Rimmer, of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, the organisation managing the new woodland in partnership with St. Modwen, said: “We are delighted to unveil the information boards and discovery leaflets for Branston Leas Woods, which go a long way in helping people visualise our overall vision for the woodland, as well as understanding how important the scheme will be in attracting a variety of birds, insects and other animals.

“The trees we planted earlier this year are settling nicely into their surroundings, and with the nesting season now over, we will soon be donning our overalls and spades once again as we continue with the planting.

“Our public planting day in March was a real success, and we are once again opening up the opportunity to the local public to get in touch for their opportunity to plant their own tree and be involved in the creation of this valuable local wildlife area.”

Councillor Mike Ackroyd, chairman of Branston Parish Council, added: “I’m delighted to see the new poplar trees and fauna at Branston Leas Woods starting to establish in their surroundings. Schools and community groups alike have really relished the opportunity to get involved in planting the trees earlier this year, and it’s great to watch this stunning woodland taking shape.”

Branston Leas is a new community being created by St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist. Two hundred and eighty acres will be transformed over the next 15 years to create a brand new sustainable community with homes, employment opportunities, play areas and open woodland.

For more information on the new woodland at Branston Leas, please visit: To get involved with the tree planting activities, please email or call Shaun Rimmer on 01889 880100.