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New wood will celebrate scouting centenary

[Monday 22 October 2007]

NEW woods don't get planted very often but that is exactly what members of the Bilton Conservation Group based on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales are planning to do later this week (26 and 27 October).

The volunteer group has taken up the challenge set by the Woodland Trust to create 100 new woods across the country to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the scouting movement.

One hundred scouts from across North Yorkshire will join the Bilton Conservation Group on Friday to plant 2000 trees donated by the Woodland Trust.

many of these young scouts will return to the wood to celebrate the maturing of the trees they have helped plant

Keith Wilkinson - Bilton Conservation Group

The Bilton Conservation Group has also been fundraising to buy a further 1500 trees which they plan to plant on Saturday, and they would like local residents or visitors to join them.

Keith Wilkinson, Secretary of the Bilton Conservation Group - which is celebrating its own silver anniversary this year - says anyone who joins in will be helping to make a little bit of history.

"The planting event marks the start in the North of England of a partnership with the Woodland Trust to mark the Scout Association's centenary year. The aim is to make sure that each of the 400,000 scouts in the UK has the chance to plant a tree to mark their centenary in 2007. The initiative also provides scouts and young people with the opportunity to learn about and engage in, woodland conservation.

"We have been planting trees at Nidd Gorge for over 20 years and it had long been our aim to really make an arboricultural impact. Nidd Gorge is still a hidden gem in our district and we want to open it up to more people. What better way than to involve the scouts and the public in this joint venture. We sincerely hope that as we celebrate our own golden jubilee in 2032, many of these young scouts will return to the wood to celebrate the maturing of the trees they have helped plant. And in the meantime, many more people will get pleasure from them."

Harrogate Borough Council's arboricultural team have been helping to advise on the planting of these new trees on this public open land, which the council has made available for this project.

Over 80 per cent of the new trees are Oak and the remainder are of mixed native species. The council is also providing six tonnes of recycled wood chippings to 'dress' the base of these new trees to protect them from weeds and to help retain soil nutrients and water. Wheelbarrows, spades and other materials will also be provided by the council if required during the project.

Anyone interested in joining in on Saturday, 27 October between 10.00 am and 3.00pm should just turn up at the Bilton viaduct, which is accessed from the bottom of Bilton Lane.

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