Around 4,000 trees have been planted in four days by 80 volunteers and charity Another Way across three sites in Cumbria.
Funded by the Tree Council, via a £1m fund from Network Rail and support from Ullswater Catchment Management CIC, the Another Way team and volunteers planted trees and hedgerows including oak, rowan, blackthorn, hawthorn, hazel, dog rose, bird cherry, crab apple and holly in Matterdale and Watermillock.
Amy Bray, 18, founder of Another Way, said: ‘This project is especially important as it is interconnecting existing woodlands with hedgerows.
“While climate change is an extremely threatening issue, it is only the third worst threat to our planet, the first being biodiversity and habitat loss. Increasing wood cover and linking up existing woods will create a much-needed habitat for many UK species which are being squeezed into an ever-smaller area of wilderness.
“Isolated copses and trees, or monocultures and plantations simply do not have the same ecological benefit as a natural forest; while they suck up carbon, they do not provide all the other ecosystems services that our planet’s, and indeed our own, health relies upon.
“Tree planting is an absolutely necessary solution to decreasing biodiversity and to climate change, however we must continue to decrease the carbon footprints of our everyday lifestyles in addition and not use it as an excuse to mop up the floor without turning off the tap.
“A huge thank you goes out to all the partners and volunteers involved in our projects. The numbers of volunteers donning their wellies and bringing their spades continues to increase with each project we do. We couldn’t do it without you.”
Other partners included in the project are The Tree Council, one of the UK’s leading charities for trees, and Ullswater Catchment Management CIC, a non-profit organisation focused on sustainable farming, conservation and natural flood management.
Danny Teasdale, project manager, Ullswater Catchment Management CIC, said: “There is now real momentum building within our community to make a difference to this amazing place we call home.
“By working with our farmers and landowners we are showing how to restore nature and plant trees in a way which compliments a sustainable farm model.
“We are very pleased to have Another Way working alongside us on some of our hedgerow planting projects and proves how much more can be achieved through partnership working.
“To date with help from partners such as The Woodland trust and Another Way we have helped to plant over 50, 000 trees and hedge plants in our area.”