Forest planting takes root in race against time

IT IS a Herculean task to ensure that Yorkshire’s forests continue to flourish while competing against Britain’s notoriously fickle weather.

Forestry Commission workers are hand-planting 625,000 trees in the region’s forests, with the most skilled operator able to put in more than 1,000 saplings each day. But the clock is ticking as the planting must be completed before it gets too warm and sapling roots become active, which would stress the young trees during their relocation from the nursery to the wood. It is also impossible to plant when the ground is frozen.

Nearly 500 acres of land will be replanted including Dalby and Cropton forests, near Pickering, and Guisborough Forest. This year’s effort is even more challenging as extra sites badly affected by a major storm which hit North Yorkshire in 2005 are being replanted.