Charity staff plant trees on Exmoor to enhance the environment

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Staff at leading animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports have planted 100 trees today to enlarge a wood and enhance the environment at its Baronsdown Wildlife Reserve on Exmoor National Park in Somerset.

A tree was planted by or for every one of its 60 staff members and named in honour of them and the remaining 40 trees will be named after future staff members as the charity grows.

The wood itself will now be known as Centenary Wood to celebrate the League’s 100thanniversary in 2024.

Paul Tillsley, head of conservation and education at the League, manages the Baronsdown Wildlife Reserve, and who organised the tree planting said: “By planting these trees we are helping wildlife now and leaving a legacy for the future.

“A variety of different birds, reptiles and mammals will benefit from this green environmental initiative.”

The 250-acre reserve is located high above the Exe valley and is home to many different species of wildlife including a large herd of red deer.

The reserve acts as a sanctuary for these red deer which are relentlessly chased and killed by local hunts despite the national ban on hunting with dogs which came into force in 2005.

Nick Weston, head of campaigns at the League, was one of the staff members to plant a tree. He said: “The League wants to have a lasting impact on the environment – in respect to both the animals we protect, and the wildlife habitats in which they roam.

“In years to come I would like to look back at all I have achieved at the League, and one of the ways I can do that is to return to the newly planted Centenary Wood and see how it has flourished. Hopefully we can create a better, greener world for future generations of animals and people to enjoy.”

Organic compost and compostable pots were used in the planting of the saplings. Wooden discs created from trees that had been blown down in storms had the names of staff burnt into them and were hung from attached canes.

The mixed woodland is comprised of ten varieties of trees: oak, beech, alder, hornbeam, silver birch, wild cherry, rowan, hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn.


Notes to Editors

Pictured: Nick Weston, head of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, planting one of the trees.

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email

The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act 2004 and the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).

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© 2022 The League Against Cruel Sports. Registered charity in England and Wales (1095234) and Scotland (SC045533).
Registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee, no. 04037610.
Registered office: New Sparling House, Holloway Hill, Godalming, GU7 1QZ, United Kingdom.