National Park project sees more than 300 hectares of woodland improved and 58,000 plastic tree guards removed - North York Moors National Park Authority

large bags of plastic tree guards on a trailer
(North York Moors National Park Authority)

A 15-month woodland restoration project that recently came to an end in the North York Moors National Park has far exceeded its initial targets, managing to conserve and improve more than 300 hectares of important wooded habitat - equivalent to more than one solid square mile of trees.

Working in both ancient and newly-planted woods, the Woodland Restoration Team removed invasive and non-native plant species, planted new trees and carried out essential maintenance. Perhaps most remarkably, 58,200 plastic tree guards were removed and recycled into new products.

The project was possible thanks to a grant awarded in late 2020 from the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. Coming out of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the aim of the Fund was to help kick-start environmental renewal whilst stimulating new jobs in the nature sector. The North York Moors National Park Authority and the North York Moors National Park Trust were jointly awarded a grant of £156,000, which over the course of the project, provided seven people with employment and specialist training, including six young practical workers aged under 25.

Rachel Pickering, Woodland Team Leader for the North York Moors National Park Authority, said:

“The project has achieved some great things for the woodlands of the North York Moors, but perhaps the biggest success has been the impact it’s had on those who received training and employment. Not only have they learned new practical skills in a real-work setting, but also a knowledge and appreciation of conservation that has allowed them to successfully find further work. One of our young team members has even gone on to set up his own local forestry contracting company. This is the best outcome as it helps to fill the shortage of such contractors locally and gets great conservation work done on the ground.”

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Posted On: 31/05/2022

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