IT was a tree-mendous effort all round!
Volunteers from Kirkburton have been hard at work planting 600 trees in a bid to create a unique wet woodland habitat.
The troop of helpers joined Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT) staff at fields at Dean Bottom – the former site of Burton Dean Mills off North Mills – to plant a variety of tree species.
The new woodland has been designed to help balance the effects of seasonal droughts and floods from Dean Bottom Dike.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust project officer Nick Simms said: “We wanted to create wet woodland which is one of our region’s rarest types of habitat and a real haven for wildlife.
“To do it we re-shaped the land so that it would hold onto rain water for longer, before allowing it to drain into the nearby stream.
“It’s all about holding onto water in the environment for longer periods to avoid extreme situations like flooding or drought.”
Similar projects are taking place at eight other sites around Kirklees, and is being made possible through funding from Biffaward and Kirklees Council Environment Grants Scheme.
The work could not have been done without the help of local volunteers.
Nick said: “We did really well – we had about 20 volunteers from the local area that came down to help us.
“We started at 10am and we were working until about 3pm.”
The group planted willow, alder, silver birch, oak, ash and holly trees.
Nick said: “There’s quite a good mix of trees there now. Things like the alder and willow and some of the birches prefer wetter soils and so they are placed right by the river where it’s going to get really wet.
“Near to the river is where we have tried to create a wet woodland and then further up the bank we’ve planted other trees so there’s more of a variety of species like there would be in natural woodland.”
By spring next year the group will reassess the site to see which trees have taken root and which have died off.
Nick said: “It looks amazing – we’ve got quite a mix of different sized trees.
“It will take decades for the woodland to develop completely.
“There is a path which people can walk down along the side of the woodland and in a circular route around it if they want to see.”