Climate action volunteers plant 11,000 trees around Ullswater

Credit: ITV Border

More than 11,000 trees have been planted around Ullswater in an effort to slow the effects of climate change and help alleviate flood risk 

Volunteers have spent the last 18 months planting the saplings - including 4,000 in just four days in Watermillock and Matterdale.

The volunteers were part of the environmental charity Another Way, founded by Cumbrian environmentalist Amy Bray.

Trees can make a significant contribution to slowing climate change. Trees capture carbon dioxide (CO2), the harmful carbon emissions that are damaging the environment.

As trees grow they use CO2 to produce carbohydrates which help them grow. This CO2 stays inside the trees for as long as they are alive. They also improve drainage and water storage on land. 

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Amy Bray said: "This project is especially important as it is interconnecting existing woodlands with hedgerows. While climate change is an extremely threatening issue, it is only the third worst threat to our planet, the first being biodiversity and habitat loss.

"Increasing wood cover and linking up existing woods will create a much-needed habitat for many UK species which are being squeezed into an ever-smaller area of wilderness.

"Isolated copses and trees, or monocultures and plantations simply do not have the same ecological benefit as a natural forest; while they suck up carbon, they do not provide all the other ecosystems services that our planet's, and indeed our own, health relies upon."

The project had trees including oak, rowan, blackthorn, hawthorn, hazel, dog rose, bird cherry, crab apple and holly donated by the Tree Council and funding from Network Rail. 

They teamed up with the Ullswater Catchment Management CIC, a non-profit organisation which is working with 80% of landowners and farmers.

Danny Teasdale from the organisation has ensured around 50,000 trees have been planted in the area since Storm Desmond.

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Since World War Two around 50% of the hedgerows in the area were lost to accommodate bigger farming machinery and increased food production 

Danny Teasdale told ITV Border:"There is now real momentum building within our community to make a difference to this amazing place we call home.

"By working with our farmers and landowners we are showing how to restore nature and plant trees in a way which compliments a sustainable farm model.

"We are very pleased to have Another Way working alongside us on some of our hedgerow planting projects and proves how much more can be achieved through partnership working.

"To date with help from partners such as The Woodland trust and Another Way we have helped to plant over 50 000 trees and hedge plants in our area."

Estimates say 1.5 billion trees need to be planted by 2050 if the UK is  to reach net zero carbon emissions