Long Lands Common welcomes 740 native trees

7 June 2023

Long Lands Common has planted 740 trees in one day as part of its continued regeneration of Harrogate and Knaresborough’s first-ever community-owned woodland project.

Over 40 volunteers planted a mixture of nine native broadleaf trees: sessile oak, English oak, wild cherry, bird cherry, common alder, aspen, field maple, hazel and goat willow. The occasion was captured on film by Long Lands Common’s Ed Lee, and can be viewed at https://youtu.be/hO5bxwUv7YQ. The project has created 1.62 hectares of woodland creation at the 12.08 hectare site, which is a mixed habitat of grassland, meadow, wetland and ponds.

For some, like Kaya, who lives in the Harrogate district and is a Long Lands Common member, it was their first-ever time planting a tree.

Kaya said: “I’ve been experiencing a lot of climate despair over the last few years, and it has severely affected my ability to focus on my job. This tree planting event helped renew my sense of hope and allowed me to connect with other like-minded people. I was blown away by how enthusiastic everyone was and how much work we all managed to do in such a small amount of time. It just goes to show how powerful collective action can be when everyone is on the same page, and has a shared vision for the future. As soon as I returned home, I shared some photos of the event on social media and managed to get some other people interested in re-wilding.

“There’s too much despair and gloom these days – a general feeling that it’s already too late and nothing will ever improve. But actually, change is not only possible, but more within reach than people realise. I think people just need to be shown their true potential.”

Ian Butterfield, from YORGreenCIC, was on hand to guide and train the enthusiastic volunteers. The trees were staked for support and protected with tree guards to prevent deer from nibbling them. The event took place at the end of the tree planting season in March, when there was a light covering of snow. Trees are dormant during this time and less likely to be damaged. Long Lands Common’s site rangers have been visiting daily to make sure all the trees are healthy, and remain protected.

The White Rose Forest funded the project through its Trees For Climate programme, part of the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund. Long Lands Common’s Ian Fraser applied for the funding and hopes to unlock more in the future from the White Rose Forest.

Volunteer days, such as tree planting, are organised each month by Long Lands Common’s John Jackson. Anyone interested should visit www.longlandscommon.org

Find out more about the support and funding available from the White Rose Forest to help you plant trees on your land.