Yorkshire’s Community Forest Expansion Plans

White Rose Forest plans are in place even if the trees aren’t yet but the plans are inspirational. In fact it will be many years before the plans are complete but by then there will be a continuous belt of trees across the county. The Woodlands Trust has received a welcome boost to membership and participation as a result of the publicity.

Plans to plant 50 million trees to create a “Northern Forest” include new woodland in and around Leeds and other major urban centres. Planting is planned over the next 25 years, beginning in March, across a 120-mile stretch of the M62 corridor between Liverpool and Hull. Its aim is to boost habitat for wildlife including birds and bats, protect species such as red squirrels and provide more public access to woodlands. The Northern Forest will connect the North’s five Community Forests, including the Leeds White Rose Forest, the HEYwoods Project in Hull and South Yorkshire Community Forest.

Community Forest is a partnership between local authorities and local, regional and national partners including the Forestry Commission and Natural England. The founding basis for each Forest is a government-approved Forest Plan, a 30-year vision of landscape-scale improvement

CFT Forest map of the UKmaps with thanks to Community Forest Trust charity no 1072706.

The community charity trust is an environmental charity passionate about community forests and the power of trees to transform places and strengthen and enhance communities.

A Bit More About Yorkshire Trees

  • The oldest living trees in Yorkshire may be the ancient yews at Fountains Abbey.
  • The new forest will contain  native species not more foreign firs! Oak, birch and beech will figure strongly.
  • The Wych Elm in Bainbridge is a survivor of Dutch elm disease it stands as one of only two elms that has grown to a girth of over 13 feet recorded in the county.
  • Yorkshire is proving to be a real treasure chest for tree hunters with magnificent trees ‘If I could spend a month tree hunting, Yorkshire would be my county of choice. Magnificent trees are coming out of the landscape all the time’ said David Alderman, Registrar of the Tree Register who is leading a hunt for old fat trees or Champion Trees.
  • Thorp Perrow aboretum near Bedale is the holder of five National Plant Collections  including Ash, Lime, Walnut, Cotinus (smoke bush) and Laburnum. Not all forest trees but worth a visit.
  • In York the Museum Gardens are home to six county Champion Trees including Alder and Hornbeam.
  • The Yorkshire Arboreturm is a large garden of trees on the Castle Howard estate maintained in partnership with Kew.
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