Our outgoing collective member, Judith Emanuel writes:
“I spent a wonderful day planting a hazel tree coppice in the Calderdale valley organised by an inspirational organisation Treesponsibility, which is based in Hebden Bridge. So lovely to be out in a beautiful place, learn a new skill and do something with others which may make a positive difference.
“Treesponsibility aims to educate people about the need for action on climate change, to involve local communities in tree-planting, and to improve the local environment and biodiversity for the benefit of local people and future generations. In recent years they have been focussing attention on tree planting for flood mitigation. They work in partnership with bodies such as the Environment Agency, Calderdale Council and the National Trust.
“Hundreds of people from all walks of life have been involved with the project, including local volunteers and landowners, schools from Calderdale and beyond, a wide range of community groups, and visitors from further afield joining tree-planting weekends, details of which can be found on their website (http://www.treesponsibility.com/.
“Since its formation in 1998, Treesponsibility has planted an average of 5 hectares every year – that’s over 12 acres of new woodland per year. This season they plan to plant 30,000 trees; three times as many as last season!
“Treesponsibility is also a founding member, and a key delivery partner in The SOURCE partnership, which aims to take preventative action to help create a healthy, resilient and biodiverse landscape, for the benefit of all the people in the Calder Valley both now, and in future years.
“They plan to expand over the coming years, and would like to play an additional role in the delivery of the Yorkshire and Humber regional forestry strategy by offering help and support to anyone interested in starting a similar project in other parts of the region. They hope to achieve roughly 10-20% of the region’s targets for new woodland through community reforestation. They offer skill-sharing workshops, passing on practical advice on obtaining, evaluating and designing planting sites, maximising involvement, raising resources and communicating the science of climate change.
“You can join a weekend which is open to all. Children are welcome. Access is limited for people with limited mobility. Not all the jobs are physically demanding and people who need the less demanding jobs are welcome too. They were very flexible, welcoming people to come when they could and wanted to be there, for as long as they could and wanted to be there.
“Other weekends are open for group bookings. They welcome celebrations of special event with friends and family and team-building events. Cost per person for the weekend is £25 including all meals which are vegan and home-cooked at the hostel. People are also welcome to come for the day for which there is no charge. They welcome donations
“If you are inspired, I recommend joining a weekend and might even see you up there”
For background reading, here is George Monbiot’s article on the link between upland deforestation and lowland flooding.