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Record tree-planting season in the High Peak

A person holding an oak sapling with roots showing before planting it on the moors on the High Peak
Planting trees in the High peak to reintroduce woodlands | © National Trust

The National Trust is celebrating a record tree-planting season in the High Peak. More than 60,000 trees have been planted since September last year bringing the total to more than 310,000 trees planted in the last ten years.

Why are you planting trees?

We have been planting trees as part of a programme to protect and develop healthy woodlands and ensure trees and shrubs in the landscape are creating habitats for wildlife, increasing biodiversity and combating the effects of climate change.

What trees have been planted and why?

Over the winter, native species of trees including sessile oak, silver birch, rowan, hawthorn, downey birch, alder and bird cherry have been planted in the sheltered valleys and cloughs that lead onto the High Peak moors.

This work supports a project to reintroduce woodland and scattered trees and shrubs where they would have once been. The trees will keep the valley sides stable at the same time as providing shelter and food for wildlife.

The tree-planting has taken place thanks to funding from Severn Trent, the Forestry Commission, Natural England and donations from supporters.

How do trees help to tackle the climate and nature crisis?

Craig Best, General Manager for National Trust in the Peak District, said: “It is well known that trees are important to help us tackle the climate and nature crisis. They store carbon, stabilise soil and are home to a huge variety of wildlife which our ecosystems rely on. The work we are doing in the Peak District to make sure the right tree is in the right place will safeguard this beautiful place for the future and have a range of benefits for people and nature.

“Rangers, volunteers, farm tenants, partners and contractors have all helped to plant this huge number of trees and reach this milestone. I know we can achieve a great deal more together as our work continues in the future.”

A ranger planting a tree in a field with views of the Derwent Resevoir behind him. There is snow on the ground and other newly planted trees are visible in the picture.
Planting trees to create a wooded corridor connecting two woodland areas | © National Trust

Creating and caring for woodlands for the future

Across the Peak District, the National Trust’s work includes large scale woodland creation projects, alongside others designed to manage the health and diversity of woodland that already exists in the Peak District National Park. We have also carried out smaller projects to reintroduce scattered trees into the landscape and connect woodland habitats.

Planting trees in the White Peak

Elsewhere in the Peak District, staff and volunteers are planting trees and managing woodland in a variety of ways.

Over in the White Peak, the team are working hard to tackle the effects of ash dieback. Following the removal of diseased trees, they are planting a mix of native species, to create healthy woodlands for the future.

Caring for woodland at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors

Across Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, trees are being planted in certain places to improve biodiversity as part of conservation work taking place there.

Work also continues on a long-term woodland pasture restoration project. This involves thinning non-native species to provide more space for native species and create better habitats for insects and birds. It will also help the trees be better equipped to deal with climate change.

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Protecting the High Peak 

The National Trust is a decade into a 50-year project to protect the land it looks after in the High Peak for people, nature and climate. Find out about work completed so far to restore peat and moorland, create and develop woodland, encourage and protect wildlife, and the plans to do more.


Our ambition to establish 20 million trees to tackle climate change 

Find out about ambitious plans to plant trees for future generations that will absorb carbon and enable nature to thrive.

Two rangers planting trees on a steep sided hill amongst existing trees. Tree guards are visible showing where they have already planted.

Planting trees to create healthy woodlands 

Rangers and volunteers in the White Peak have been busy planting trees as part of a project to tackle the effects of ash dieback and create healthy woodlands for the future.