People who enjoy walking in Britain's national parks could eventually see more black poplar trees returning to the landscape, if the efforts of a conservation group are successful.
The Ecologist reported that only 2,500 specimens of the tree currently remain in Britain, but a new conservation programme undertaken by the Crown Estate - the largest land owner in Britain - could help to boost its population.
Andy Player, a countryside ranger at Dunster Estate, commented that he first noticed the decline in numbers of the trees while he was working at Exmoor National Park.
"Until quite recently virtually no native black poplars had been planted since the mid 1800s. As a result most mature trees are old and in poor condition," he commented.
However, students from West Somerset Community College's new rural skills centre are working on a new project to take cuttings from remaining black poplars, cultivate them and then re-plant them in the countryside.
People who fancy going for a walk on the Dunster Estate may wish to try out one of its newest trails - the Tall Trees Trek.
Described by Somerset Life as an easy walk, the trail offers views of moors and the coast from Bat's Castle - a hillfort dating back to the Iron Age.
Posted by Brandon Egley