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Nidderdale woodland walk tree planting project enters final stage

A major tree planting exercise in the Nidderdale village of Dacre Banks has entered its final phase.

Last November, pupils from Summerbridge Community Primary School, Dacre Braithwaite Church of England Primary School and Darley Community Primary School, began planting the first of 3,400 saplings on a six-acre field behind Holy Trinity Church.

And, over the last month, landowner Michael Emsley has enlisted the support of disabled charity Open Country Harrogate, together with volunteers from the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), to continue with the environmental project.

In the run up to Easter, a team from The Conservation Volunteers – a community volunteering charity that works to create healthier and happier communities for everyone – will plant the final 1,000 saplings.

After consulting with experts, Mr Emsley, whose family have owned the land for more than 50 years, selected a mixture of native species, namely goat willow, alder, downy birch, hazel and hawthorn, wild cherry, rowan, oak, beech, sycamore, silver birch and blackthorn for the wood.

Mr Emsley said:

I’m delighted to say the planting phase of this significant project, to create a woodland walk on the edge of Dacre Banks, is drawing to a conclusion.

.This has been major exercise, and, despite December’s heavy rain, is on course for completion before Easter.

It would not have been possible had it not been for the superb efforts of an army of volunteers, and I’m incredibly grateful them for all their efforts.

Once the planting has finished we will leave nature to take its course. One of the aims of the planting is to increase bio-diversity and it will be interesting to see what fauna is attracted to the site as it develops over the years.

We will also be encouraging all those involved in the project to make regular return visits so they can see for themselves how it is developing.

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