Highways England to plant 100-hectare woodland

02/06/2021
Chris Ames

Highways England has announced that a new woodland the size of 135 football pitches will be planted alongside the route of the proposed Lower Thames Crossing (LTC), in partnership with Forestry England.

The new community woodland is part of its commitment to increase biodiversity along the Strategic Road Network by 2050 and will go ahead regardless of consent being granted for the crossing.

However, the government-owned company has not been able to state when it will re-submit its planning application.

An application for a Development Consent Order was originally submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in October last year but was withdrawn following early feedback from the Inspectorate.

Last autumn it said that it ‘will be resubmitting the application early in the new year’.

Hole Farm artist's impression

Highways England said the planned woodland at Hole Farm near Great Warley, Brentwood in Essex will be the largest community woodland in the East of England and described it as being at the heart of the project’s plans to boost the wildlife and increase habitats in the area.

The site will be managed by Forestry England, the country’s largest land manager, on Highways England’s behalf. The roads operator said Forestry England is supporting the Government’s target of planting 30,000 hectares of new woodland every year by 2025.

‘Under Forestry England’s care, the 100-hectare site will become home to around 150,000 new trees and provide homes to thousands of native species, from mammals to invertebrates and birds to fungi.’

The green space could include facilities such as a café, education centre and a community orchard, Highways England added.

A range of provisions for outdoor activities are also being considered, and new public paths may link to a footbridge across the M25 to create an uninterrupted walking and cycling route between other nearby woodlands.

Matt Palmer, executive director for the LTC, said: The Lower Thames Crossing is the most ambitious road scheme in a generation, because as well as improving your journey and supporting 22,000 jobs, it will enhance the natural environment and leave a positive green legacy for our neighbours.’

Forestry England chief executive Mike Seddon said: ‘We know how important high-quality, local greenspace is to people as well as the country’s ambition to plant new woods and forests.

‘We have been creating and managing community woodlands for decades and are excited to be working with Highways England and looking forward to hearing from the local community. This will become a great addition to the nation’s woodlands.’

Barley fields at Hole Farm

Highways England said the new woodland complements the project’s existing environmental initiatives, which will enhance and connect habitats across the area by returning farmland along the proposed route to semi-natural habitats, including species-rich grassland and wildflower meadows.

Elsewhere along the route, another 260 hectares of new woodland will be planted and the project will significantly increase the number of ponds, watercourses, and hedgerows in the area. These areas will be connected by seven new green bridges and 42km of new pathways.

Forestry England will carry out a consultation later this year to seek feedback on plans for the site.

Highways jobs

Business Support Officer - Catering

£19,312 - £19,698 per annum
This job is Temporary for up to 12 months to cover operational needs. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road Safety & Sustainable Transport Assistant (Casual)

£11.73 - £12.69
Are you passionate about active travel with a particular interest in cycling? Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Street Works Inspector

£30,451 - £32,234 per annum
Are you passionate about highways and work planning? Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Commercial Transport Coordinator

£31,869 to £38,616 per annum
Are you passionate about making improvements and implementing change? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Ugobus Driver

Up to £19579 per annum
Ugobus DriverPermanent, Part TimeUp to £19,579 per annum (full time equivalent)Location
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Senior Procurement Manager x3

£51000 - £60500 per annum + + Flexible Working & Local Gov Pension
Category and Supplier Relationship Specialists x3Fixed Term, Full TimeUp to £60,609 per annumLocation
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Senior infrastructure engineer

£45.834 - £56.141
You’ll lead the building, testing and monitoring new and existing services both on-prem and in the cloud. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Infrastructure engineer

£37.772 - £46.999
This is a great role in a vibrant and growing team; we’re looking for people who have some experience in infrastructure engineering... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Category and Supplier Relationship Specialist

£52000 - £60609 per annum + + Flexible Working & Local Gov Pension
Category and Supplier Relationship SpecialistPermanent, Full TimeUp to £60,609 per annumLocation
Recruiter: Essex County Council

School Crossing Patroller

£4,657
Are you looking for a rewarding job helping the community? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Local Plan Transport Advisor

£44,700 - £48,854
Do you have experience as a Transport Planner or Project Manager? East Sussex
Recruiter: East Sussex County Council

Lead Transport Modeller

£39,713 - £43,397
Do you have experience as a Transport Modeller? Lewes, East Sussex
Recruiter: East Sussex County Council

Social Value Assistant Manager (mainly home based)

£33000 - £38000 per annum + + Flexible Working & Local Gov Pension
Social Value Assistant Manager (mainly home based)Fixed Term, Full TimeUp to £38,001 per annumLocation
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Traffic Projects Officer

£27,614 to £30,602 pro rata per annum
We have a great opportunity for a Projects Officer to join our busy Traffic Team. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Emergency Planning Assistant

£28,452 - £37,026 depending on skills,
Are you interested in emergency planning and keen to be part of a supportive team? Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Network Management Officer

£22,183 - £32,234
This is a varied role for an enthusiastic and motivated candidate, with experience of highway maintenance or a technical background, who... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Environmental Health Officer

£32,910 - £35,745
Reporting to the Public Protection Manager, (Health, Food& Safety) the duties that the post holder is responsible for include... Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Environmental Health Officer

£32,910 - £35,745 per annum
Reporting to the Public Protection Manager, (Health, Food& Safety) the duties that the post holder is responsible for include... Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Local Highway Officer

£22,183 - £32,234
The role is to identify maintenance repairs and improvements and to work with Community Groups and Partners, dealing with... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Technical Business Analyst (Highways)

Up to £46359 per annum
Technical Business Analyst (Highways)Permanent, Full TimeUp to £46,359 per annumLocation
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

INSIDE:

  • The Queen's Speech and procurement reform
  • The remarkable benefits of controlled motorways
View the latest issue

Latest Video