A celebration of ancient trees this October with the Skell Valley Project

5 October 2022

This Autumn, the Skell Valley Project is celebrating the amazing ancient trees that call the valley home.

Gabby Crisp, Skell Valley area ranger said:

Ancient trees are so important in the Skell Valley because of how incredible they are for wildlife and biodiversity. Rot holes provide homes for nesting birds, and invertebrates, which are vital to the ecosystem, thrive in the declining tree.

We also consider the beauty and heritage value of our ancient trees. They’ve seen all the changes in the valley over hundreds of years and we need to continue to look after them.

The Skell Valley is an important place for ancient trees. The designed landscape at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal means that there are lots of surviving ancient trees.

There are lots of ancient and oaks and ash living in the valley too. Some of these are already suffering from ash dieback and one of the ambitions of the project is to monitor these so that we can plan for resilient future planting.

We’ll be working with volunteers to map and record veteran and ancient trees in the valley, and will be running a number of public events too.

There will be a book talk on 21 October, 7.30-9.30pm at Ripon Arts Hub, where authors Simon Toomer and Max Adams will be discussing the importance of trees in the landscape and celebrating the wonder of trees. The event is being held in partnership with Little Ripon Bookshop, and tickets are available online or directly from the bookshop.

To book online, please see www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/skell-valley-project-a-landscape-of-trees-book-event-tickets-407417495697

On the 26 October the Skell Valley Project team will be holding an Ancient Tree Discovery Day at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, where ancient tree advisor and author Brian Muelaner will be exploring the fascinating world of veteran trees.

The family-friendly event will run from 1-4pm and will include a slideshow and talk about the ancient trees of the National Trust and their cultural heritage connections.

This will be followed by a guided walk exploring the spectacular veteran trees of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. This event is free to attend but does have to be booked by contacting karen.collins@nationaltrust.org.uk

The Skell Valley Project is a 4 year project working to protect and celebrate the natural, cultural and landscape heritage of the Skell Valley in North Yorkshire. With funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project is co-led by National Trust and Nidderdale AONB working with a partnership of 16 organisations to conserve the heritage of the valley.

More information about the project can be found on the website: nationaltrust.org.uk/skellvalleyproject

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