Plans to create England's largest new native forest have taken a “major step forward” after the Woodland Trust took possession of the land where 600,000 trees will be planted.

The trust, which announced the £8.5m scheme in the summer, installed a kissing gate yesterday to give the public access to 170 acres of the 850-acre site near Sandridge, Hertfordshire.

The trust aims to create the country's largest new continuous broadleaf woodland on an area twice the size of Regent’s Park and bigger than Sherwood Forest Country Park.

Financial Times