At Make it Wild we are celebrating planting 25,000 trees in Yorkshire!
On our 26 acres near Kirk Hammerton, York, we planted 18,000 trees in 2011. Due to the River Nidd being on our boundary, and the land being prone to flooding, the soil is very fertile, and the trees have grown rapidly, quickly creating a lovely young woodland. We have also dug ponds and sown wildflower meadows to encourage more wildlife and increase biodiversity. It was fascinating to see insects arrive very soon after the trees were planted, quickly followed by birds, mammals and amphibians. In 2018 we planted 2,000 more trees.
Encouraged by the success of this management of the land, now known as Sylvan Nature Reserve, we wanted to do the same, on a larger scale. We set up Make it Wild, and were delighted to acquire Bank Woods, Summerbridge, Harrogate. This beautiful 110 acres of Nidderdale already had three stunning areas of ancient woodland. This year (2019) we have planted 5,000 trees to reconnect the ancient woodlands, to allow wildlife to move freely between them. We have put up 27 bird boxes, and this Summer (2019) we will be sowing a wildflower meadow and digging ponds. Our small herd of belted Galloway cattle roam widely, and have an important role in conservation grazing.
Well, the benefits are endless!
Increasing tree cover is known to be crucial to address climate change. Through the natural process of photosynthesis, trees absorb carbon dioxide, storing the carbon in their wood as they grow, and emitting oxygen. Carbon dioxide is a potent green house, and its concentration in the atmosphere has been rapidly rising since the industrial revolution. It traps the heat from the sun within Earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming and climate change. When trees store carbon, they stop it entering the atmosphere. Trees also absorb other harmful pollutants, reduce flooding and provide shelter and shade.
For us, the most striking benefit of trees is that they provide food and habitat for countless creatures, directly supporting biodiversity. Quite simply, trees create a space for wildlife. As we have shown, if you make space for nature, it will come!
But Make it Wild’s plans for tree planting don’t stop there – we have pledged to plant 100,000 more trees over the next ten years as part of the Northern Forest initiative, launched by the Woodland Trust and The Community Forest Trust. We will soon acquire even more land to manage for nature, and we will continue planting trees in Yorkshire!
We offer Tree Dedications, so that you can share with us, knowing you have helped us to help nature. A Tree Dedication is the perfect eco-friendly gift for any occasion!
We feel that planting thousands of trees is the best thing we can do for nature. After all, as we say at Make it Wild “It’s not our aim to protect nature, it’s our purpose.”
by Katie Chedgzoy, Business Development Intern