Yorkshire's least-wooded area to get 18,000 trees

More than 18,000 trees will be planted this year in Yorkshire’s least-wooded area as part of the Northern Forest.

Community volunteers helping HEYwoods plant new woodland in north Hull Picture: HEYwoods

Launched in 2018, the project aims to accelerate woodland cover across the north, from Liverpool to Hull.

This year 18,500 saplings will be planted in Hull – the UK’s least- wooded city – and in the Haltemprice villages of Willerby, Preston and Hedon.

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East Yorkshire – “the breadbasket of Yorkshire” – has just 2.6 per cent woodland cover, dramatically less than the national average of 8.4 per cent.

University of Hull volunteers help HEYwoods prepare willow cuttings for planting in north Hull Picture: HEYwoods

“It’s the way the landscape has evolved over hundreds of years,” said Stephen Robinson, the project’s partnership manager.

The major challenge in getting more trees planted was finding willing landowners, he said. The majority of areas planted so far had been publicly owned.

“Where land is a little more marginal, areas of land that flood annually, the economic case becomes a bit more straightforward,” said Mr Robinson.

Large parts of East Yorkshire would once have been dominated by wet woodland, supporting alder, birch and willow, and it is an approach now being followed, planting in areas along the River Hull corridor likely to flood.

Challenges with urban forestry include vandalism and poor soil, which can make the woods more expensive to establish.