Green milestone of 30 new woodlands created by Ribble Rivers Trust
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Between November last year and April, dedicated volunteers have been working hard on the final five of the 30 woodlands created since 2017, with 10,000 trees planted this season during weekly sessions by dedicated volunteers. A further 16,000 trees have been planted for other woodland creation projects.
“We rely almost entirely on volunteers for tree planting,” said RRT’s woodland creation officer, Kristina Graves.
“They love getting outdoors, which is great for their mental and physical health, and the community that we’ve created is really friendly.
“Volunteers feel they’ve contributed to improving the environment and there’s a sense of achievement when they see the final outcome.”
The Ribble catchment has some of the lowest woodland coverage in England which is why tree planting is such an important element of RRT’s work. Woodlands along rivers also provide shade, protect riverbanks from erosion and provide habitat that supports a wide range of insects, which in turn feeds trout, birds and mammals like bats.
The woodlands created for the Ribble Life Together project have been carefully chosen to provide a more varied habitat for wildlife, improve soil structure, reducing the risk of riverbank erosion and keeping rivers cool, benefiting both local people and the spawning fish which lay their eggs in the catchment’s waters.
Woodlands already established across the Ribble catchment include sites at Tosside, Sabden Fold and Cuerdale. Since April 2017 over 33,000 trees have been planted for the Ribble Life Together programme creating around 24 hectares of woodland. Some 13km of fencing has been erected, protecting the trees from damage as they grow, and among the species planted are oak, hawthorn, hazel, birch and holly.
RRT have developed strong relationships with local farmers to plant woodlands on their land, with each tree costing up to £15 to establish and maintain over a ten-year period. Good relationships with farmers and landowners, along with keen and active volunteers, mean Ribble Rivers Trust have been the most prolific tree planting organisation across the area for many years.
RRT’s success has led to the development of a new campaign, Lancashire Woodland Connect, which will enable another 10 years of woodland creation across Lancashire.
For further information about Ribble Life Together, visit www.ribblelifetogether.org or contact the Ribble Rivers Trust on 01200 444452 or via [email protected].