Seed to sapling appeal aims to make Dales more resilient to climate change

Yorkshire Dales charity will launch a new fundraising appeal during National Tree Week that aims to grow and plant more native trees locally, making Yorkshire woodlands more resilient to climate change.

Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) is appealing for donations to support their Seed to Sapling campaign through the Big Give website from midday on November 27 to midday on December 4. Donations will be doubled while funds last, thanks to match funding from long-term partner JT Atkinson & Sons.

Money raised will help ensure the right trees are available to plant in the Dales by creating community nurseries where native saplings will be grown from local provenance seed, as well as supporting YDMT’s specialist woodland traineeship.

“We urgently need a practical and cultural response to protect our woodland habitats for future generations, reduce the loss of our wildlife and combat climate change. By helping to fund this project, people will be directly helping us to do this,” said Carol Douglas, YDMT’s Woodland Development Manager.

Trees are vital to provide habitat for wildlife, helping to prevent loss of biodiversity. They also capture and store carbon, making them a crucial part of the fight against climate change.

“The Yorkshire Dales has some of the lowest native broadleaf cover in the country at only 2.5 per cent, so it is absolutely crucial that we work to not only plant more trees, but plant the right kind of trees, to ensure that they can thrive in the Dales.”

Family-run builders merchant and long-time supporters of the charity, JT Atkinson, are matching donations made during the campaign, meaning every donation will have double the impact.

Jamie Atkinson, managing director at JT Atkinson, said: “We’re delighted to be matching funds raised during National Tree Week again this year. We are also supplying materials for community groups to construct seed germination trays as part of the project. Our local communities are of massive importance to us, and this is a fantastic way for us to support them, and the environment.”

Carol added, “The Seed to Sapling project helps strengthen our efforts to develop a landscape richer in trees, woods, and hedgerows, with tree cover of varying types and densities planted using locally grown stock from across the national park. It also gives communities a greater understanding of trees and a real sense of connection with the woodlands they will help to create.”

The first steps are to collect seeds from healthy veteran trees in semi-ancient natural woodland – ready for planting and sowing in germination trays. The seedlings will be potted on and looked after in the nursery for another year before being brought to community growing sites where they will be quarantined to ensure they are healthy. Finally, once big enough, the saplings will finally be planted out at approved woodland and hedgerow sites by our community volunteers.