THE Yorkshire Dales have one of the lowest tree coverage of almost any other region of the British Isles - a shortcoming being tackled by the Dales national park - but that makes any ancient woodland that has survived even more important.
An ancient Oak near Bolton Abbey: thought to be 600 years old
Help in this situation could be at hand from the Woodland Trust, one of Britain's most imaginative conservation charities, which has just launched an appeal to persuade people to adopt a particular tree and become an Ancient Tree Guardian.
Ancient trees, says the trust, are our oldest living treasures - there is a well-protected oak at Bolton Abbey said to be 600 years old - but there are many others which are at risk from disease, global warming, or simple old age whose lives could be prolonged by expert care.
Says the trust: "Even though there are more ancient trees here in the UK than in the rest of northern Europe, there isn't much protection for them and they are terribly at risk."
The aims of becoming a tree guardian are:
To provide quality advice to landowners, through publications and events
Help the trust influence policy and planning decision makers to ensure the best outcome for threatened ancient trees;
Enable it to produce publications and on-line information to illustrate the value of ancient trees;
And most importantly, to bring together a complete record of the UK's ancient trees through the Woodland Trust's Ancient Tree Hunt, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund
For more information, contact Dilys Machin on 01476 584870 or firstname.lastname@example.org