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Plans to remove "blot" on Dales landscape

[Tuesday 12 September 2006]

ALTHOUGH the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales is famous throughout the world, it is lacking in one vital aspect: it has fewer trees than any other national park in the British Isles.

Traditional Ash woodland
Photo: YDNPA

Now, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and a local charity, the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, have got together to launch a £672,000 campaign to persuade landowners and farmers to plant an extra 370 acres of woodland.

Tree cover in the National Park amounts to four per cent of the total area - the lowest amount of any National Park, according to Geoff Garrett, the park's trees and woodland officer.

Half the £672,000 cost of the project, called Dales Woodland Restoration, is being met by English Nature's Countdown 2010 Biodiversity Fund and the millennium trust is working to raise the balance.

Geoff said: "Most of the existing woodland is fragmented and it is not in a particularly good condition. We are aiming to join up the smaller areas - planting trees like ash, oak, rowan and hawthorn - to provide larger habitats for plants and animals.

By planting new trees we will be improving the natural environment by providing more shelter for livestock and wildlife...

Geoff Garrett - YDNPA

"By planting new trees we will be improving the natural environment by providing more shelter for livestock and wildlife as well as giving the landowners an additional form of income from the timber in the long-term. It really is a win-win situation."

So far, landowners have put forward nearly 200 acres of land to be planted in the first 12 months of the project and the Authority and YDMT is now looking for a further 70 Ha (or more) for the financial year starting next April.

  • For further details about the scheme or to contribute match funding please contact Geoff Garrett at YDNPA on 0870 1 666333 or Chris Lodge at YDMT on 015242 51002.

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