Hundreds of trees planted in rewilding push

Vhari Russell (centre, in blue sweater), with a group at Saffron Grange Vineyard, Little Walden

Vhari Russell (centre, in blue sweater), with a group who helped her plant the trees at Saffron Grange Vineyard, Little Walden - Credit: submitted

Over 500 trees have been planted at Saffron Grange Vineyard in Little Walden, as part of a push to "rewild nature's corridors".

Vhari Russell set up the charity Creating Nature’s Corridors in memory of her brother Rory Bernays – a carpenter who died three years ago of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, aged just 37, while windsurfing in Pembrokeshire. He was married and had two very young children.

Vhari said the death of her younger brother turned their world upside down, and the charity is her way of "doing something positive", and a way to replace the trees Rory used in his woodcraft.

She said: "The charity has meant he is in my conversations more than half of the week. That's really nice. He would have been proud of what I'm doing."

The rewilding project aims to plant over 10,000 trees and hedges across the UK per year, starting with the least wooded areas of the country first. 

The goal is to encourage biodiversity and carbon capture and create an improved living environment for local communities. 

Vhari met Saffron Grange through her food marketing agency, The Food Marketing Experts.

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At Safffon Grange they planted 559 trees, creating a copse next to the winery which visitors will be able to enjoy over the coming years.

The planting also included a large oak and trees to line the drive.

Vhari said Creating Nature's Corridors wants to work with individuals, businesses and groups, and get trees and hedgerows into the land.

Vhari said that hedgerows are just as important, as they help with wildlife and provide a flood management function.

Dan Turner of Saffron Grange Vineyard said the scheme is beneficial to the vines as trees act as a windbreak, while hedgerows encourage wildlife. He said the vineyard is planning to plant more vines, and one of the problems with tree planting schemes can be finding available land.

"It fits us perfectly here," he said.

The tree whips planted at Saffron Grange were paid for by the general public and by Naturepac which makes sustainable packaging.

Creating Nature’s Corridors has also planted trees at Brampton School and Hemingford Grey School.

See the charity's website: