THOUSANDS of new trees, including crab apple and flowering cherry have been planted across Skipton in the last two months.

Craven District Council says it has planted 9,000 trees in Aireville Park, and at Shortbank Road and in Middletown Recreation Ground.

The planting includes 30 large trees in Aireville Park, funded by Bettys Trees For Life Fund, administered by the Two Ridings Community Foundation, which provided £4,000. The bid was submitted with the Friends of Aireville Park community group, which has also pledged £1,200 towards tree planting in the park.

Contractors and volunteers helped with the first round of tree-planting but since the lockdown began, the council’s trees officer has been planting single-handedly.

Residents have been helping water the trees in the recent unexpected warm and dry weather but the council, assisted by Skipton Fire Station, says it now has plans in place to keep the new trees hydrated.

The larger of the trees in Aireville Park have been carefully selected to provide blossom in the spring, and colour in the autumn.

Species include birch, cherry, crab apple, hawthorn, Mediterranean pine, Austrian pine, beech, maple and hornbeam. More trees are scheduled to be planted in other areas of the park in November.

Councillor Carl Lis, lead member for Greener Craven, said: “It’s wonderful to see these new trees providing greenery and colour in these difficult times. We’d like to thank all residents who have helped keep the trees watered over the last couple of weeks during this unseasonably warm weather. These tree-planting schemes remain important as they will provide benefits in biodiversity, connecting woodlands, improving air quality and flood alleviation.

“This is a key part of our climate change strategy, following our declaration of a climate emergency last year.”

The tree-planting scheme in Craven has also been funded by DEFRA’s Northern Forest fund with around £40,000 to fund stock proof fencing, rabbit proof fencing, stakes, guards, the 9,000 trees and the contractors.

This story first appeared in the Telegraph and Argus.

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