Milestone Infrastructure has worked with client, Devon County Council, to relocate thousands of trees in Devon as part of its A382 project.

The A382 project aims to create the UK’s first carbon negative highway. The project, which received funding from the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport’s (ADEPT) Live Labs programme, aims to show that carbon negative highways are possible without the need for offsetting, providing a ‘live laboratory’ opportunity to promote change in design, construction and maintenance of roads.

As part of the project, the Milestone team has worked with Devon County Council to relocate over 2,000 trees from the site ahead of construction. A field near the road has been transformed into a temporary nursery to house the trees.

The trees, which include several different native species including yew, beech, and hawthorn, will continue to grow in the nursery and will be replanted around the A382 project once the construction is finished, providing biodiversity to the area surrounding the scheme.

Across its projects, Milestone sets targets to achieve above 10% Biodiversity net gain (BNG).

Speaking on the project, Dan Baker, Project Director at Milestone Infrastructure, said: “The idea came from Milestone Landscape Manager Rod Lee, as a way of saving carbon and reducing costs. Devon County Council supported the idea and our Project Manager, Tom Morris, brought it to fruition. Hopefully it will set a standard for similar schemes in the future.”

Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said: “Although some trees have needed to be removed to progress with the project, every effort is being made to relocate or re-use as many trees as possible. The Live Labs 2 project is enabling this scheme to look at doing things differently and if the temporary nursery for 2,000 trees proves successful, hopefully it could become best practice for all road development schemes in future.”

At M Group Services, we are committed to protecting the natural environments in which we work, in line with our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets.

Check out the video below to find out more about the A382 tree translocation project: