Alpkit Foundation News

Trees for Cities

By Alpkit
27, Mar, 2017

Planting wet woodland to increase biodiversity and public awareness of this kind of habitat


The Alpkit Foundation was delighted to help Trees for Cities with a grant towards trees need for a specific project in Keighley, Yorkshire. Working with local volunteers and community groups to plant a wet woodland, consisting of 500 Alder and Willow whips (bare root trees juvenile trees, 2-3 years in age and 60-100cm in height), to help increase biodiversity, which in turn will provide benefits for local residents. 

The trees will be planted in a community planting event to engage a wide variety of local stakeholders, including local residents, community groups and schools. Every attendee will learn how to identify trees, the properties of various tree species and how to safely plant trees, teaching people about the importance of trees for local wildlife, for the environment and for people living in urban areas.

Olivia from Trees for Cities explains why this project was so important. "The planting site suffers from flooding due to an emergent spring. Consultation with the local community revealed the desire for wet woodland to be planted. Keighley is among the most deprived areas of West Yorkshire and in the top 10% most deprived places in the UK. Many local residents face issues of unemployment, homelessness, debt and addiction. We want to work with local residents and school children to encourage them to get outside and enjoy nature. We will provide them with a unique and in most cases, first opportunity, to plant a tree. This will be a fulfilling experience, especially being able to observe them as they grow and encouraging people to think about the environment and their impact."

Trees for Cities often struggle to find funding for tree urban planting, particularly outside of London, however studies show that green spaces improve both physical and mental well being. Trees enhance mood, improve self esteem and lower blood pressure. Once widespread throughout the UK, wet woodland is now under serious threat as a result of land and drainage development. Wet woodlands provides an important home for numerous different species and are rich in insects, particularly beetles, many of which are now rare in the UK.

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