Major sustainability drive sees thousands of trees planted as part of VIVO Defence’s rebuild of RNAS Culdrose’s perimeter fence

Around 6,500 new trees have been planted at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose as part of a major project led by facilities management firm VIVO Defence Services and the MOD to rebuild the nine-mile perimeter fence at the base.

Planting at the Cornish air station began this year with 3,000 trees on the edge of the sports field used by RNAS Culdrose Football Club.

Another 1,500 trees have been planted to the north of the airfield while an extra 2,000 have now gone alongside the main road beside the workshops and aircraft hangars known as W-Site.

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It is part the project currently underway at the Helston air station to replace the nine miles of perimeter fence. This started earlier this year and is due to be finished in the Autumn.

The trees are all single shoots – known as whips in the forestry business ­– and of native species. While it is not expected, due to natural wastage, that all the trees will reach maturity, enough will grow to screen the base and provide wildlife habitats.

A mixture of tree types has been planted and species include the wild service tree, hornbeam, hazel, birch, grey alder, field maple, rowan, tilia cordata, bird cherry, sea buckthorn and wild pear.

The project is a collaboration between the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Navy Command Infrastructure, VIVO Defence Services Ltd and the RNAS Culdrose Infrastructure Team. The tree planting has been undertaken by Gareth Jones Grounds Maintenance.

Captain Stuart Irwin, the commanding officer of RNAS Culdrose, said: “Culdrose sits on the edge of an area of outstanding natural beauty and it is only right that we take all steps we can to be sympathetic to this beautiful part of Cornwall.

“Whilst this project is primarily to provide the security required of a military base, playing our part in addressing sustainability and climate change is key to all of our security in the long term. When we were discussing the project to replace the air station’s fence, I made it clear that I wanted to plant as many trees as possible. I have to commend the team, as they have completely excelled in that regard.”

Michael Lintott-Danks, DIO Regional Head Forester, added: “We’re really pleased with the progress of this significant replanting project. It’s been a fantastic opportunity to reconsider where the new trees should be planted as well as the mix of species.

“We chose native trees based on their likelihood to survive and thrive in this location, and planted a variety of species to ensure resilience against pests and diseases.”

Jerry Moloney, VIVO Defence Services Managing Director, said: “Replacing and rebuilding a nine-mile security fence at a military base as strategically important as RNAS Culdrose is a mammoth and important task, and I am pleased that sustainability and the environment are very much at the heart of this project.

“It is great to see that, along with our MoD and supply chain partners, we have already fulfilled on our commitment to plant 6,500 new trees part-way into this build to provide new natural habitats and a screen for the base.”

Additional work has also started to improve the area at W-Site, including wooden fencing to screen a caravan parking area. Plans are also in place to install one of the decommissioned Hawk jets on public display beside the roundabout to St Keverne and The Lizard.

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