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Broughton Sanctuary ‘biggest tree planting scheme in England this year’

Broughton Sanctuary at Broughton Hall Estate has become home to the largest tree planting scheme in England this year.

Working in partnership with the White Rose Forest, 160 hectares of trees will have gone in the ground between December and April 2021. That’s equal to 224 football pitches.
By slowing the flow of water runoff into local rivers, the trees planted at Broughton Sanctuary will help protect communities in the Aire river valley, from Skipton down to Leeds City Centre, from the risk of future damaging flooding events.
The project is important within the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme led by the Environment Agency and Leeds City Council.
The project is funded by the Government’s Nature For Climate fund via Trees for Climate. This is a £12.1m programme of woodland creation this planting season led by England’s Community Forests.
Once established, the woodland will also store significant quantities of carbon and help deliver the Government’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions in the UK by 2050.

The tree planting plan

For Broughton Sanctuary, the tree planting marks the beginning of an ambitious nature recovery programme that will transform a third of this 1200-hectare estate to a much wilder state and increase biodiversity and wildlife.

Roger Tempest, custodian of Broughton Hall Estate and his partner Paris Ackrill, co-founder of Avalon Wellbeing at The Broughton Sanctuary said:

“We surely have to wake up to the fact that respecting and supporting nature has to be a high priority on the ground now. Our lack of harmonious co-existence with the Earth is causing continued extinction of species across the globe as well as a deep lack of belonging for humanity.

“We are too often looking further afield to environmental degradation ‘over there’ yet we have lost our places of real wilderness in Britain, wilderness which should pulse with rich biodiversity. We saw an opportunity at home.

“We believe that the change we need to see will come through the union of rewilding our ‘outer nature’, such as the nature recovery and rewilding project at Broughton, along with the rewilding of our ‘inner nature’ which perhaps has been the root cause of deforestation and degradation of nature in England.

“We are enormously grateful to everyone that has been involved in our nature recovery project so far. The expert advice and ongoing support we receive from Professor Alastair Driver, Matt Taylor, Wayne Scurrah and Richard Preston Garden Design is invaluable. A huge thank you also to the White Rose Forest, Defra, Kirklees Council, Craven District Council and the Environment Agency.”

As well as tree planting, early interventions to kickstart the recovery process will include the natural regeneration of trees, scrub and grasslands, the creation and restoration of wetland habitats and sensitive woodland management.
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