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Project information

Help Save Fingle Woods

The Woodland Trust has a once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase and restore Fingle Woods, 334 hectares (825 acres) of woodland in the northern fringes of Dartmoor National Park in Devon. Sites of this size and nature rarely come on the market and we must act quickly to secure its future.

December 2013 - December 2014

Charity information: Woodland Trust

Woodland Trust logo
  • Need


    The ancient woodland at Fingle Woods is struggling for light. In the last century over half of the site was felled and re-planted with conifers to produce timber as part of the war effort. Today dense stands of conifers cast dark shadows and conifer needles, smother native woodland species on the woodland floor.

    Ancient woodland is irreplaceable. Once it's gone, it can not be replaced - this unique and vital habitat, supporting our most rare and vulnerable species is lost forever.


    Saving sites like Fingle Woods is vital in the Woodland Trust’s fight to save and restore the UK’s woodland heritage. We use our knowledge and expertise to create the right conditions to restore ancient woodland like this which has been damaged through non-native conifer planting. Restoration is the only way to protect the long term future of the last remaining ancient woodland in the UK.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To raise £100,000 through The Big Give challenge to protect this amazing site.


    » Using this money, we will begin the restoration work on Fingle Woods through the selective thinning of conifers and non-native species during 2014.

    What success will look like

    Success will be demonstrated through restoration work being completed on time, to budget, and the positive impacts realised on these ancient woodland sites.

    Aim 2

    To open up 34 kilometres of closed pathways.


    » Under our ownership we can open up these pathways, giving people the chance to discover and enjoy the secrets of this site.

    What success will look like

    Visitor numbers to Fingle Woods will increase.

  • Impact


    The project will have a long-lasting impact on the environment of Fingle Woods, and also help to reduce the decline of precious ancient woodland in the UK, creating richer, more vibrant habitats for the incredible diversity of species these woods support as a key building block of a living, resilient countryside.


    If we do not secure the vital income needed to purchase and restore Fingle Woods, there is a risk the restoration activity will be severely reduced.


    Donors can track our progress via the Woodland Trust website woodlandtrust.org.uk

    You can also sign up to our website to receive regular news updates on the progress of this project and other projects taking place.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £5,000,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,300,000 Acquisition The purchase of Fingle Woods
      £1,700,000 Restoration Restoring the woodland to native broadleaf

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Penn and Tylers Residents Association £25,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Fingle Woods is nestled in the Teign Valley on the edge Dartmoor National Park in Devon.


    Fingle Woods will benefit through the changes to the landscape, providing a haven for native wildlife such as redstarts, pied flycatcher and wood warblers. In our care, we would also open the 34 kilometres of closed footpaths, encouraging local people and tourists to visit, making the wood more welcoming.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Woodland Trust has led the way in terms of managing the UK’s conifer damaged ancient woodland resource, by developing a comprehensive ancient woodland restoration strategy and acquiring and implementing restoration programmes on over 150 of its own sites.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Tim Hodges, Woodland Restoration Programme Manager

    Tim has directed our approach to ancient woodland restoration, playing a lead role in ensuring it was widely adopted in forestry policy across the UK.

    David Rickwood, Site Manager (Devon)

    David has the privilege of overseeing the management of Fingle Woods and some of the Trust’s first woodland sites.

The impact of restoration

The impact of restoration