Skipton Systems support woodland restoration

Skipton-based IT support and solutions company Skipton Systems has joined forces with YDMT to plant trees in the Dales.

Skipton Systems will dedicate one new native broadleaf tree for every client taking out a new 12 month ‘BusinessCover’ support contract with them. The company offer a range of IT and web services and solutions. Richard Pettifer, Director of Skipton Systems says, “We are proud to be based in Skipton; the Gateway to the Dales, and we are keen to do our bit in keeping this wonderful landscape as beautiful as possible.  Our partnership with the Trust will enable us – and our clients – to make a real difference to the future of the area.  I hope that we will be planting many trees together with the Trust over the coming months.”

Saplings at Harrison's Wood - YDMT's new Supporter Woodland

YDMT Director David Sharrod added, “We will look forward to inviting Skipton Systems and their clients to join us next year to see the progress of the trees and the new woodland that they have helped to fund and make possible.”

The trees will be located in Harrison’s Wood, YDMT’s newest Supporter Woodland, situated in the beautiful Nidderdale countryside near Pateley Bridge.  Covering 6.3 hectares, the site has been planted with a mixture of native species including large proportions of Hawthorn (15%), Ash (12%) and Downy Birch (10%).  If you own a business and would like to support woodland restoration and other vital projects in the Yorkshire Dales, please contact Lindsay Wallace on 015242 51002 or email






Business promotion CAN be eco-friendly!

Check out the fabulous range of promotional products and stationary (including an Eco-Friendly selection) from MWA Promotional – our newest corporate supporter!

For every £175 you spend, MWA Promotional will plant a new native broadleaf tree in the Dales on your behalf through YDMT!

So now you can order your branded stationary supplies and promo gifts whilst doing your bit to support tree planting in the Yorkshire Dales!  Huge thanks to MWA Promotion and their customers for their support.

This is a chance for you to play a key role in creating a new woodland which will provide spaces for people to enjoy and habitats that support hundreds of species of wildlife, as well as helping to create a greener planet by absorbing carbon.

Find out more at and check out the press release here.

Harrogate Ladies’ College raise £170 for YDMT!

Students and teachers at Harrogate Ladies’ College raised a fabulous £170 for YDMT during their Go Green Week recently.

Fundraising activities included the girls paying £1 to wear green for the day, a “No Power Hour” where the college switched the lights and computers off for an hour over lunchtime, green themed assemblies and a green lunch (not literally!).

All together the week raised a cool £170 for YDMT which will play a vital part in enabling the Trust to continue to help care for the landscape, economy and people in this very special place – the Yorkshire Dales.  Thank you so much Harrogate Ladies’ College!!

Harrogate Ladies’ College teacher Mrs Chestnutt commented “I wanted to choose a local green charity to support, and YDMT’s work really interested the girls – they particularly liked the idea of planting trees.”

Go Green Week is a national event organised by the GSA (Girls’ School Association).

Meeting the Minister!

Last week was very exciting as YDMT met Richard Benyon, MP and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries.

Richard met with us and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) whilst he was in the Dales, and we explained the unique relationship between YDMT and YDNPA.  – It is a special and important partnership which has brought about many beneficial projects and developments.

Some of the issues currently affecting the Yorkshire Dales were also discussed, including sustainable energy… The group visited Linton Falls Hydro scheme – a project which was funded by the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) which provides grants to individuals, businesses, local authorities and community groups to fund sustainable new business ideas and community projects in our National  Parks.  The fund was launched in July 2002 and is funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Here in the Yorkshire Dales, SDF is managed by YDMT on behalf of the YDNPA (an example of our partnership in action).

The current state of economic difficulty and the changing face of funding were discussed, and the Big Society agenda and how it might impact on the future of the Dales were considered.

… Overall, a very interesting and useful meeting.  We’ll keep you posted on any developments!

A Day In The Life…. of a Dales Countryside Trainee

One of YDMT’s most innovative and life-changing projects is the Dales Countryside Trainee scheme.

In the Dales it’s becoming increasing difficult to find people with skills necessary for the long term care of our upland environment. Combined with this we’re seeing a dramatic loss of 16-24 year olds as rural communities try to adapt to rapidly changing economics.

So in June 2010 YDMT launched the Dales Countryside Trainee scheme to help meet the urgent needs of young people and to bridge the gap in local skills and knowledge.

In summer 2010 twelve young people started on a programme of vocational training in environmental and countryside management across the Dales. Over the next two years they will gain valuable experience in a 22 month placement with a local employer, learning from skilled practitioners. They will also study for a Level 2 Qualification in Environmental Conservation at Craven College.

One of our trainees is Becky Burton who is carrying out her work placement at the National Trust site Fountains Abbey; a huge estate comprising of the abbey ruins, and 800 acres of natural countryside near Ripon.  She has kindly taken a few minutes out of her day to tell us a bit about what she’s been up to…

October marks a change of the seasons at Fountains Abbey – the deer park is a perfect example.  During the summer I was busy helping with the chain harrowing in the deer park – an important task to renovate the pasture and stimulate new growth.  I learnt how to drive the tractor and also had a go with the chain harrows, which seemed enormous!!

Chain Harrowing

Chain Harrowing

Now, as summer draws to a close, I’m involved with the autumn and winter tasks.  From October through ’til April we feed the 550 deer in the park a mixture of extra carrots, fodderbeet and hay bales to keep them going.  This often involves shovelling 2-4 tons out of the trailer per day in the snow, rain and wind!  It’s a job I helped with last winter – just after Christmas the public were invited to watch the feeding of the deer (an event known as ‘on the hoof’), where the deer warden would give a talk and answer any questions whilst a team of volunteers and I fed the deer.  By April, the grass should have started to grow and the feeding will be over for the year.

Feeding deer with fodderbeat and hay

Feeding deer with fodderbeat and hay

A little while ago John Horrigan (the Deer warden) and I were invited to attend a wardens meeting at Hadriens Wall, at the National Trust property there known as ‘Housesteads’.  The property includes 6 miles of wall and a Roman Fort.  The morning was spent listening to a variety of presentations, ranging from one on the new consultancy in the National Trust and one to wildlife seen in the area at National Trust properties.  In the afternoon we were split into groups and set a challenge; we had make a fire out in the open using materials we’d collected from across the estate.  We were given some corn to make into popcorn and some wheat and water to grind down and make bread. We then cleared the site so that no one could tell we had been there and headed home!

Wardens Meeting

Wardens Meeting

Find out more about the Dales Countryside Trainees scheme here.

See how our woodlands have grown

Today’s been a gorgeous sunny day in the Yorkshire Dales – perfect for a trip out to see how some of our woodlands are doing…

We visited Westgate Farm Wood – our Supporter Wood planted in 2004 – and Thornbrook Wood – our 2006 Supporter Wood – both located in Thornton in Lonsdale, at the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales national park.

The trees in both woods are doing really well – many are taller than me! – and the areas of saplings we planted 5-7 years ago are now starting to look like proper little woods, casting areas of dappled shade and creating a habitat for wildlife.

Westgate Farm Wood, Sept 2011

Westgate Farm Wood, Sept 2011

Each tree in our Supporter Woodlands has been planted on behalf of, or in memory of, someone special.  Every year people with a passion for the Dales choose to Dedicate a tree in the Yorkshire Dales through our Tree Planting scheme.  It’s a unique way to celebrate a birthday, christening, wedding or anniversary.  With prices starting at just £10 per tree, its a gift that will grow and grow; and it doesn’t cost the earth.

In spring this year we planted our millionth native broadleaf tree – a real milestone which was made possible thanks to the donations of our supporters and business partners.

Trees growing strong at Thornbrook Wood

Trees growing strong at Thornbrook Wood

Thornbrook Wood alone is made up of 7,975 native broadleaved trees and shrubs covering 3.75 hectares.  The species planted here include Oak, Rowan, Alder, Birch, Wild Cherry, Field Maple, Goat Willow, Crab Apple, Holly, Hazel, Guelder Rose, Hawthorn, Blackthorn and Dogwood.  The trees were all individually protected with tree guards when we planted them to prevent rabbit damage, and it seems to have done the trick – walking round today we were delighted to see that the vast majority of the trees are healthy and growing strong.

If you’d like to find out more about dedicating a tree, visit our website. Our current Supporter Woodland is Harrison’s Wood located near Pateley Bridge.

Fashion Gives Back

Bag yourself a designer bargain whilst supporting YDMT’s tree planting project at ‘Fashion Gives Back’; a charity auction of fabulous vintage, pre-worn, designer and ethically produced women’s wear and accessories.

Join YDMT and Sequel Fashions of Harrogate from 7pm on Thursday 20th October for a fashion auction to remember at The White Heart Hotel, in Harrogate.  The evening will kick off with champagne and canapes whilst you enjoy the Preview, followed by the opportunity to try on the outfits and see award-winning hairdressers and make-up artists bring Vintage to life.

The aim is to raise money for reforestation and climate change initiatives locally – through YDMT’s Woodland Restoration Project – and around the world through a Charity Auction of the fabulous fashion items.  Sequel Fashions are kindly donating half of all the profits made on the evening to YDMT, helping us to plant more native broadleaved trees in the Yorkshire Dales!

Fashion Gives Back

Fashion Gives Back is a philosophy; a fantastic way to have fun, do your bit for charity and bag a designer bargain at the same time!   The evening will bring the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to life with quality fashion, inspiring women who shop at the top end of the market to open their minds when it comes to shopping for a designer label and to consider pre-loved fashion items.

It’ll be a fun evening, showcasing fabulous designer and vintage clothes modelled by eight local ladies (ranging from size 8 to 14) who will have a complete make-over and be our models for the evening.

We’d love to see you there!

Tickets cost £15.00.
More information and contact details to book your place are available from