Pupils from three Nidderdale schools have helped a local landowner with an environmental project to benefit the village of Dacre Banks.
Youngsters from Summerbridge Community Primary School, Dacre Braithwaite Church of England Primary School and Darley Community Primary School, donned wellies and waterproofs to help plant the first of 3,400 saplings, on land behind Holy Trinity Church.
They were joined by landowner Michael Emsley, Coun Helen Flynn and two ecologists, Phil Lyth and Brian Wood, who advised Mr Emsley on which native species should be used for the scheme, which is the initial stage in creating a woodland walk.
Trees planted by the children were goat willow, alder, downy birch, hazel and hawthorn. Other species being planted later in subsequent stages include wild cherry, rowan, oak, beech, sycamore, silver birch and blackthorn.
Mr Emsley said:
My family has owned this land for more than half a century, and we wanted to do something to benefit the local environment and residents.
We consulted with a number of experts, including The Woodland Trust, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), and the general consensus was to create a woodland walk.
The field is six acres in size, and the planting done by the children was the first stage in this process. We are delighted the schools agreed to help out because this scheme will, ultimately, benefit the local area.
And, over the coming years, they will be able to see the fruits of their labour grow from small saplings to mature trees. They will also be encouraged to revisit the area for future lessons in the environment.