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Young Peoples Forest at Mead

Young People’s Forest, Mead

For each Research Article and Review article published in one of our journals, we are planting a tree in The Young People’s Forest at Mead in Derbyshire. This site, which is a former open cast mine, is managed and maintained by the Woodland Trust.

The forest is located on the edge of Heanor and Smalley, close to Shipley Country Park. The area has a long and rich history, with the land having belonged to Vikings over 1,000 years ago. Around the 16th century, coal mining began and remained an important activity for the estate in years to come. This has obviously had a grave impact on the biodiversity in the area.

Map of The Young Peoples Forest at Mead
Map of the Young People’s Forest at Mead

Today the focus is on planting native trees and restoring the area to its original native woodland. Combined with species-rich grassland, ponds and open spaces this will create a rich and complex set of habitats for supporting biodiversity.

Trees planted in this forest include silver birch, oak, lime, alder, rowan and hawthorn. The site also has varied flora, including bluebells, which have many benefits to wildlife. The grove where The Forest of Biologists trees are planted is situated next to the butterfly banks. Animals that have been spotted in the Young People’s Forest include many bird species, including barn owls, as well as foxes, badgers and grey squirrels.

A field with newly planted trees
Trees planted at the Young People’s Forest – image credit James Reader – Front Row Films/WTML

The Young People’s Forest actively engages children and young people to help shape the forest, not just by helping with the planting, but also with the planning. This encourages the next generation to truly take care of and take responsibility for this amazing and important part of their environment.


A pond in a woodland

Once complete, the Young People’s Forest will be a mixture of rich woodland, grassland, biodiverse ponds and open spaces, offering a home to a vast array of flora and fauna.

Visiting this site

Planting of tree saplings
Image credit Philip Formby / WTML

The Young People’s Forest at Mead is open to the general public. The site is linked to Derbyshire County Council’s Shipley Country Park and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Woodside Farm, giving over 500 hectares (1,300 acres) of connected open space. Regular planting days encourage a real engagement with this wonderful growing space.