Silsden landowner inspired to plant trees

8 July 2022

Long-time Silsden resident, Linda Arter, has planted over 2000 native trees on her 2-acre field this year, benefiting the environment and helping to improve natural flood defences within the Aire catchment.  Watching BBC Countryfile and learning more about the significant environmental benefits of tree planting motivated Linda to explore the possibilities of woodland creation on her land, situated between the River Aire and Holden Beck.

Linda said: “I was watching a BBC Countryfile feature about tree planting and was inspired by their message about the environmental impact if we all planted just one tree each. I got in touch with the White Rose Forest team via Bradford Council and they organised a site visit and talked me through the options on my land that had previously been used for occasional grazing by a local farmer.”

“The tree planting itself was a wonderful experience and will have a much greater positive impact on the environment than anything else we could do as a family. I would encourage everyone with land to consider planting trees. I have learnt so much through the process and we now have plans for more rewilding in the same location.”

The White Rose Forest team supported Linda through the planning and regulatory process and identified the best funding options for her project. The design and planting was then managed by Ian Butterfield from YORgreen Community Interest Company, a local White Rose Forest partner, who organised a group of volunteers to plant the 2 acre field in Feb / March this year.

Linda found the planting stage particularly valuable. She said, “Ian and the volunteers who came to do the planting were so knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They provided brilliant information about the native, locally-grown trees selected for my field and I was even able to choose trees to plant in a particular location in memory of my mum and dad.”

Linda also has some advice for anyone considering tree planting on their land, she said: “Do as much research as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get support from organisations such as the White Rose Forest. There is so much to learn but it is such a rewarding experience.”

The White Rose Forest is the community forest for North and West Yorkshire and is supported by a partnership of woodland creation experts from local authorities, charities, community groups and businesses across the region. Free and impartial planning, funding and planting support is available to any landowner or land manager who is considering planting trees on land of any size.

Guy Thompson, White Rose Forest Programme Director, said: “As a community forest, our local communities are at the heart of everything we do. Every tree planted in the White Rose Forest will benefit communities across North and West Yorkshire. There has been disastrous flooding within the River Aire valley over the last few years. Over time the new woodland on Linda’s land will not only increase biodiversity but will also help to slow the flow of water run-off into the neighbouring beck and prevent future damaging flooding events in communities as far as Leeds City Centre.

“There has never been a better time to plant trees thanks to the competitive Government funding and support now available for landowners and farmers. The White Rose Forest team is here to provide free support for anyone interested in planting trees on their land and I encourage you to get in touch via our website.”

Linda’s woodland was funded by the White Rose Forest via the England’s Community Forests Trees for Climate programme, part of the Government’s Nature for Climate fund. The Government aims to at least treble tree planting rates in England by the end of this Parliament as part of plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

To find out how our expert White Rose Forest team can help you plan, fund and plant trees on your land for free, please contact us.