From Wildlife Extra:
St Helena reforestation wins conservation award
Winner of Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies Nature Conservation Award is announced
April 2011: A forest restoration project on one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world has just won a major UK conservation award. But this is no ordinary forest and no ordinary island – for the trees are endangered and are found nowhere else in the world and the island is St Helena, an Overseas Territory of the UK.
Flying the flag for the International Year of Forests, the St Helena Millennium Forest Project will be presented with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee’s Blue Turtle Award for nature conservation in the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.
The eastern half of St Helena was once covered with a huge swathe of native forest known as the Great Wood. During the 1700s most of the native trees had succumbed to the combined effects of felling for timber by settlers, browsing by goats and rooting by pigs; and by the 20th century only a few of the native gumwood trees survived. Gumwoods are found nowhere else in the world, and like other trees endemic to St Helena, are all threatened with extinction. At the initiative of the local community, the St Helena Millennium Forest project was launched with the goal of reinstating native forest on degraded wasteland. More than 250 hectares of land has been set aside for restoration and, since 2002, over 10,000 gumwood trees have been planted.