Planting trees in Ullswater

Here in Ullswater a group of Rangers, volunteers and school children planted roughly 30 crab apple trees in Glencoyne Park.

Glencoyne wood pasture has nearly 300 veteran trees within it – crab apples and oaks being the most common. A couple of years ago we took some apples from the veteran trees and sent them off to our plant conservation centre in Somerset. The seeds have now grown into saplings and arrived back in Ullswater at the start of the year.

There is a scarcity of wood pasture in the Lake District and many of the wood pastures in the Lakes only contain veteran trees that are coming to the end of their life. Glencoyne is a great example of an area where we are working with our farmers to do things differently; reducing sheep numbers and introducing cattle and horses to develop a more resilient landscape, favouring natural processes and tree regeneration. Although natural regeneration of the wood pasture is beginning to happen in Ullswater, by planting local provenance trees from seeds collected on site we are just helping the process along a little.

Planting new native broadleaf tree species will help to connect habitats together through wildlife corridors; this type of home is absolutely perfect for birds such as warblers, flycatchers and red starts. The role of these areas in wider landscape planning is also vital for creating “rougher” landscapes that are better able to absorb water and mitigate some of the effects of climate change – namely flooding.

We hope that with a lot of care and a bit of luck these trees will be the veterans of the future.