On Monday 7th March we planted our millionth tree! A real milestone in the Trust’s on-going efforts to restore native broadleaf woodlands in the Yorkshire Dales for future generations to enjoy, and we couldn’t have done it without your support, so big thanks to everyone who has dedicated a tree or made a donation over the years.
We were joined at Calm Slate Farm on the Bolton Abbey Estate by 52 excitable and enthusiastic pupils from Christ Church Primary school in Skipton, as well as Simon Rouse; ambassador for the Trust and former star of TV series The Bill (‘back in the day’ he played Jack Meadows).
David Sharrod, YDMT Director says, “Thank you to everyone who came along to support us. It was a wonderful day and a key step towards achieving the Dales Woodland Strategy’s aim of doubling the amount of broadleaved woodland in the Yorkshire Dales by 2020. There’s still a long way to go – only around 2.5% of the Dales is covered by broadleaf trees, compared with the national average of 4.8%.”
As part of the celebration over 50 native broadleaf saplings were planted, one for each of the school children, along with the millionth tree itself – a five-year-old oak tree which was planted by David Sharrod and Simon Rouse with the help of Phil Richards, Lower Wharfedale Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Ranger.
The National Park Authority has taken the lead over many years in funding and organizing numerous woodland restoration schemes, which provide spaces for people to enjoy, and habitats that support hundreds of species of wildlife.
Thanks also go to Thorpe Trees, the Trust’s main supplier of saplings, who have been helping us to restore woodlands across the Yorkshire Dales and Nidderdale AONB. It seemed only fitting that Thorpe Trees should also supply us with the special millionth tree as well! Thanks guys 😉
Simone Bennett, Head Teacher at Christ Church Primary School, says “We were thrilled to work alongside the Trust to plant the millionth tree. As an Eco-School we want our pupils to understand the importance of the natural world and everyone had a fantastic time. The children can’t wait to plant some more things in our school garden tubs now too!”
The afternoon was topped off with well-deserved ice creams and recreation for the children in the nearby playground, courtesy of Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream. Unfortunately the YDMT team were too ‘mature’ (aka old and heavy!) for the play area, but we did indulge in ice creams too …I tried the Strawberry flavour which was yummy!
Simon Rouse, YDMT ambassador got stuck in, helping the children to plant their trees, as well and doing a grand job helping to plant the millionth tree. Before saying his goodbyes and heading off for a walk at Bolton Abbey, Simon commented “Today the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust provided the children with a memorable experience that they have been able to share and enjoy together. I think it is wonderful that each child planted a tree today and that these trees will, like the children themselves, grow and develop over the years. I like to think that each individual tree represents the imagination of the child that planted it.”
All in all, it was a lovely day marking the Trusts achievements in helping to restore native broadleaf woodlands in and around the Yorkshire Dales, but there’s plenty more to be done. We’re already planning the next million trees as I speak…!