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).

Children from Christ Church Primary join YDMT’s David Sharrod and actor Simon Rouse in planting the Trust’s millionth tree

Children from Christ Church Primary join YDMT’s David Sharrod and actor Simon Rouse in planting the Trust’s millionth tree

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!”

Planting a young sapling

Planting a young sapling

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…!


Autumn Walking in Aysgarth

August saw the arrival of two new members of staff at YDMT, Leah Cardus who has become our new receptionist and Tessa Wiggans, helping with the fundraising team. Tessa started off with helping with this year’s Autumn Walk in Aysgarth, here you can find out how it went…

At Asygarth Falls

After finding out on my first day of work I would be helping to organise and participate in an Autumn walk, I was very happy to say the least! After all the bad weather over the past few weeks, we were lucky enough to have the perfect weather for our walk in Aysgarth. Dave Tayler and Judy Rogers came along to help and made the walk extremely interesting with their extensive knowledge of the surrounding areas! Walking a circular 5 miles trip from Aysgarth Falls, we discovered many things around the area and I was very happy to spend the day with seven of our supporters, all very interesting people with great knowledge and passion for the Dales.

Dave tells us about Speckled Wood Butterflies

Wherever you go in the Dales you are bound to come across a project the trust has helped with. Aysgarth is no exception, with the beautifully restored Edwardian rock garden and war memorial in the village centre, Cross Wood – our first donor wood close by and the Heritage Access Project.

After an unexpected slight detour which led us to a path showing a spectacular view of the valley, we headed back to the falls, ready for our lunch at the Falls Country Club. We all tucked into a hearty lunch of homemade, locally sourced food provided by the very lovely lady Anne Kiely. Anne is a big supporter of the Trust’s work and is always happy to help.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable day and look forward to participating in the coming seasonal walks and meeting many more of our supporters – watch out for details of our next Winter walk!

Stopping for a break… or are we lost?!