There is a Chinese proverb “the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago; the second best time is now.”
In 2011 we bought the land for our first nature reserve, now called Sylvan Nature Reserve, on the edge of the village of Kirk Hammerton, near York. After observing it and getting to know it for 18 months or so, we knew what it needed to kick start the biodiversity it was lacking – trees! So in the November of 2012, on a foggy, dark, damp and dreary day, we set about marking with white tipped posts, where the paths and clearings should be. Two days later, the contractors moved in, and started the huge task of planting 18000 native trees, each with a stake and a protective tube.
As much of the land is prone to flooding from the river Nidd, which forms a large part of its boundary, the trees were selected to be flood tolerant.
A little over five years later, and the transformation is quite incredible! The trees are now forming a ‘proper’ woodland, with all of them towering over our heads and with thick trunks, bursting out of their tubes. The increase in insect and bird life is amazing. We have seen a real life illustration of a text book ‘food net’ in the way that trees and their leaves, flowers and fruits support insects, which in turn provide food for birds, small mammals and amphibians. And then bigger mammals and birds of prey also enjoy a plentiful diet.
As with all new woodland planting, we have had some losses of trees, and now is the time to replace them. Why not help us to maintain this wonderful nature reserve by supporting us in planting a tree?
On our new site at Bank Woods, we will be planting saplings, to establish woodland around and in between our beautiful Ancient Woodland. Would you like to help us by planting a tree?