Caring for the landscape at Malham

Volunteers planting trees on limestone pavement

Thanks to your support we have been able to plant tens of thousands of native trees in upland Yorkshire and improve the landscape for farmers, nature and visitors.

This year we planted 50,000 trees on Malham Moor, Yorkshire, as part of a plan to create a more natural upland environment.

The trees, alongside other changes planned with local farmers, will enhance nature, encouraging new species into the area, as well as helping to maintain farm business.

‘This is a very exciting project. With the help and enthusiasm of our tenant farmers we are creating a much richer and more natural environment at the same time as working to maintain farm businesses and the best of what we love about the past,’ says National Trust ecologist, Peter Welsh.

Healthy habitat

The aim is to create a light and patchy cover of shrubs and ‘wood pasture’ within a landscape that is still lightly grazed by livestock.

The planting project is being conducted in partnership with the National Trust’s tenant farmers and has been funded in part, thanks to a grant from WREN’s FCC Biodiversity Action Fund from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Working with farmers

‘The tree planting together with changes to lighter livestock grazing systems, which have been agreed with the farmers and Natural England, and works to restore the blanket bogs on the hill tops, will result in a host of benefits,’ says Peter Welsh.

‘With climate change looming, plants, birds and other animals will be better able to adapt and use this varied environment. ‘

Species planted include hawthorn, hazel, oak, birches, willows, rowan, alder, holly, bird cherry and juniper.

Climate change

‘The trees mean that more carbon will be trapped and stored in the system, helping reduce greenhouse gases and the rougher and spongier ground surface will slow the flow of rainwater off the land thereby helping to reduce downstream flood peaks,’ says Welsh.

‘We also think this will ultimately become a more attractive countryside for visitors.’