Clitheroe philanthropist couple plant 3,000 trees on land earmarked for housing

In this time of multiple developments planned across the Ribble Valley, a thoughtful Clitheroe couple are bucking the trend by planting a new piece of woodland in their field designated for housing.

Knowing that the Woodland Trust were prominent in trying to encourage the planting of new trees to give a whole range of environmental benefits, one of Clitheroe's most successful businessmen, John Lancaster and his wife, Rosemary, made contact with the Trust who were only too happy to help.

Phil Dykes from Woodland Trust with Richard Atton from Bowland Treecraft Ltd as they plant the new trees

Phil Dykes from Woodland Trust with Richard Atton from Bowland Treecraft Ltd as they plant the new trees

Phil Dykes, the Trust's Volunteer Woodland Champion, said: "Living in Whalley, I was only too aware of the amount of land being swallowed up by the new housing developments and was really pleased to be able to help John and Rosemary fulfil their ideas. The field in question's boundary was along Edisford Road (opposite to the school) and was just over eight acres in size which gave plenty of scope for a delightful and beneficial new piece of woodland. WT have various ways of encouraging tree planting, but for private landowners like John and Rosemary, they have their MOREwoods scheme, which gives advice and support, and supplies a wide range of native trees and shrubs from UK sourced and grown suppliers. As part of the ambitious Northern Forest woodland creation project, the WT, thanks to funding from Defra, will contribute up to 85% of the costs to anyone wanting to incorporate trees on their land through its MOREwoods scheme."

John Lancaster, the founder of Clitheroe conservatory firm Ultraframe, said: "We wanted to create a piece of woodland for the benefit of generations to come instead of having yet more houses on this important piece of land which had been earmarked for building."

Over the years, the couple, who set up the Lancaster Foundation, have donated millions of pounds towards a wide range of good causes across the world.

Local contractors were appointed by the WT to carry out the planting of over 3,000 trees complete with all of the necessary tree guards and stakes, required in order to protect from grazing animals such as rabbits or deer.

"This is the ideal time of year to put in these new trees and we are all really looking forward to seeing the oak, rowan, hawthorn, wild cherry, crab apple, aspen and all of the

other selected species, develop into a beautiful piece of woodland, which will be a testament to John and Rosemary’s ideas for generations to come," concluded Phil. "It would be great if this could inspire others to do the same."

Anyone wanting to follow in the footsteps of John and Rosemary are asked to make an application by logging onto www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/morewoods or by calling 0330 333 5303.