Putting down new roots in Calderdale

Greenery: Guy Thompson, who wants to see more woodland in Calderdale
Greenery: Guy Thompson, who wants to see more woodland in Calderdale

THE hundreds of new trees planted in one corner of Calderdale could be just the start.

A campaign is underway to encourage landowners to do even more to create a greener future for the district.

The Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust are offering grants to kick start the planting programme.

“Even small schemes can make a significant difference and help blend our towns, villages and countryside into a greener landscape,” said Guy Thompson from the White Rose Forest.

“There are a host of good reasons to nurture more woodland – it improves the landscape, helps wildlife, creates attractive settings for investment and increases land values. For bigger projects there is also the possibility of making cash from future timber and fire log sales.”

Only 5.1 per cent of the Calderdale countryside is tree covered (about 4,610 acres), well below the national average of 9 per cent.

Many woods have also become badly fragmented over time, particularly those in steep Pennine cloughs and valleys.

At White Slack Farm, Walsden, near Todmorden, 25 acres of new trees have been planted by landowner Bob Barker with the help of local group Treesponsibility. He now has the green light to plant another 36 acres.

Mr Barker said: “Landowners can do more to combine farming with biodiversity and in particular by planting more trees.

“Besides helping to clean the air, the upper Calderdale Valley has many water gathering grounds where planting trees creates a more absorbent soil, helping reduce the severity of flooding.

“Creating more attractive areas with public access and picnic areas has been really appreciated by local people.”

Advice is available from White Rose Forest on 07720 414356.