Harrogate District and the Northern Forest Project

In January 2018 the government announced the launch of the Northern Forest, an ambitious project to grow and link the existing community forests, shown in the image below, from Liverpool to Hull. The project will see 50 million trees planted over 25 years, increasing woodland cover by one third.

News updates

Help needed in planting trees for Yorkshire

The White Rose Forest is seeking landowners, agents and funders to create an ambitious tree planting programme across the Harrogate District. Expressions of interest are now being sought from landowners who may be considering future tree planting schemes, with a provisional deadline of 31 May 2020 set to allow time to plan ahead of the next planting season.

Email Ian Fraser for further details or to express interest.

Launch of Long Lands Common appeal

 

Nidd Gorge Community Action has launched a £300,000 public appeal online, to buy the land required to create the first Harrogate community-owned woodland.

Members of the public can now buy shares to help raise the funds needed to buy the land, after which the transformation work, planting trees and laying paths can begin.

 

The Northern Forest

Image of the Northern Forest (Crown Copyright)

The average woodland cover in Europe is about 36%. In the UK the average is 12% but in the Harrogate District and the Yorkshire Dales the figure is down to 8%.

There are many reasons why this has come to be, but it is true to say that inadequate woodland cover has numerous serious detrimental effects. Increasing woodland cover can deliver huge benefits:
 

  • Improved air, soil and water quality

  • Flood management - by making ground more permeable and slowing the flow

  • Creation of habitats for biodiversity

  • Locking up the carbon in global warming gases such as carbon dioxide

  • A stronger economy and job creation from growing timber, a renewable resource, as well as providing an improved environment to attract businesses and investment.

  • Improved physical and mental health and wellbeing, from greater access to green spaces

 

What organisations are involved?

  • Woodland Trust

  • Local authorities

  • Community forests

  • Government agencies (e.g. Forestry Commission)

  • The voluntary sector

What is happening in the Harrogate District?
The White Rose Forest (WRF) is the community forest for the Leeds City Region (LCR) and the largest community forest within the Northern Forest Project. It is a joint venture between local authorities within the LCR and other agencies and organisations such as the Woodland Trust and Natural England. Zero Carbon Harrogate is also a signatory to the joint venture agreement.

An aerial survey of the WRF,  was undertaken in the summer of 2018, and every tree has been mapped, creating the baseline assessment of what woodland cover exists now.

Harrogate District sits centrally within the WRF and a working group for the District has been formed, whose role it is to create the plan that will deliver the District’s contribution to the WRF.

On this working group there are representatives from:
 

  • Community Forest Trust

  • Forestry Commission

  • Harrogate Borough Council

  • Kirklees Council

  • Nidderdale AONB

  • United Bank of Carbon

  • Woodland Trust

  • Zero Carbon Harrogate

Advice and guidance about tree planting and woodland creation
If you want to know how you can help with this project, vastly increasing woodland cover, whether as a landowner, a donor, or volunteer, please contact:

Iwan Downey

MICFor | Project Manager | White Rose Forest & HEYwoods

Iwan@cf-trust.org
07483 136 040

Further information about the Northern Forest and the benefits of urban green spaces can be found in the following publications;

 

© 2017 by Zero Carbon Harrogate

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