By Leah Conway – KLTV Contributor
In December 2020 the Yorkshire Dales National Park revealed a ten-year plan to increase the Dales’ woodland from 4.3% to 7%. The Dales Woodland Forum – a partnership of landowners, charities and public bodies – devised the ‘Dales Woodland Strategy’.
‘Dales Woodland Strategy’
The goal is to create 6,000 Hectares of woodland habitat in the Yorkshire Dales National Park by 2030.
Currently, the National Park is covered by a small proportion of woodland – around 4.3% of the total area is woodland, which is the smallest of England’s National Parks. Their goal is to increase it to 7%.
However, this is not the first woodland strategy faces by the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The park achieved their previous goal for 1995 to 2020 was to plant 2,000 hectares of new woodland.
Member Champion for the Natural Environment at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, and member of the Dales Woodland Forum, Ian McPherson, said: “I would like people to share my enthusiasm about the prospect of more trees in the National Park. New woodland is beautiful. It attracts wildlife. The good news is that public money is available for it. Trees sequester carbon and can help with water quality, natural flood management and, crucially, farm business viability.”
In addition, Mr McPherson stated: “Managing existing woodlands will become an equal priority to creating more woodlands. Existing mature field trees, usually marking boundaries, are hugely important in the landscape, as are existing hedgerows, such a feature in the Cumbrian part of the National Park.
“Our starting point will be to work with people to expand or connect existing native woodlands. If we can do this and improve public access to woodlands, so much the better.”
The Climate Emergency
Similarly, there are countrywide goals too. As well as individual goals for the Yorkshire Dales National Park, they are also part of interconnected goals across National Parks England.
For example, England’s 10 National Parks are working together toward the same goals. They are aiming to protect and enhance the natural environment and become leaders in tackling the climate emergency.
The park is currently urging the pubic to stay home, not make any unnecessary trips to the park and urge people to exercise locally.