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In The Shadows

Planting trees for tomorrow: National Park seeks fields and hedgerows for free tree scheme

Tuesday, 18 June 2024 00:10

By Barbara Constable

Tree planting in the NYM - credit NYMNPA.jpg

“When we look 200 or even 500 years into the future, we need to see the next generation of those gnarly, creviced ancient trees that support vast numbers of insects and fascinate everyone who sees them.”

So says Sam Newton, Woodland Creation Officer at the North York Moors National Park, whose work has a legacy that will hopefully span centuries.

“We’re fortunate to see examples of magnificent ancient and veteran trees dotted all over the National Park, but they won’t live forever. These trees are essential to healthy ecosystems and of course store carbon, helping to mitigate climate change,” continues Sam.

There are several schemes to encourage landowners to consider tree planting in the North York Moors, some of which look to create whole new woodlands and others, such as the Landscape Tree Scheme, which looks to plant between ten and twenty trees per project in sturdy, stockproof shelters. This is a longsighted approach, planting individual trees that will hopefully become the majestic landmarks of the future. They can be planted in fields and open spaces, where they provide shade for grazing animals, but also along existing hedgerows, therefore having minimal impact on land use.

 “It’s especially critical at the moment,” says Sam, “as we’re witnessing the loss of so many of our ash trees due to widespread ash dieback.”

“This is a real concern particularly in the south of the National Park, where we expect the loss of ash trees to have a major impact on the landscape. It will take decades for any newly planted trees to reach maturity, so all the more reason to start now.”

The scheme provides the trees for free and covers 100% of the costs involved, including three years maintenance. A mixture of species is usually planted, helping to future-proof their survival by reducing disease risks.

The programme is funded entirely through Section 106 contributions from the development of both Woodsmith Mine and Boulby Mine.

Anyone who has the space to plant a minimum of ten trees is encouraged to get in touch to discuss their ideas. Interested landowners can contact the National Park Authority via email on conservation@northyorkmoors.org.uk, preferably including a map and as much detail as possible. You can also post a map to the National Park Office in Helmsley, or phone Sam Newton on 01439 772700.

For more information, please visit northyorkmoors.org.uk/woodlandcreation

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