Yorkshire Water will plant 250,000 trees by spring 2020

To celebrate National Tree Week Yorkshire Water has announced that it will complete the planting of 250,000 by spring as it closes in on its target of planting one million across the county.

The company has put helping the environment at the forefront of its plans and will be carbon net zero by 2030, with its ambitious tree pledge playing a key role in reducing its emissions. A typical hardwood tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon a year.

The trees will form part of the Woodland Trust’s government-backed Northern Forest, a 50 million tree programme which will run along the M62 corridor from Liverpool to Hull. The organisation is working with The Mersey Forest, City of Trees, White Rose Forest, Heywoods and the Community Forest Trust

Yorkshire Water kicked off the campaign just over a year ago and is now upping the ante with help from the Woodland Trust, along with national and local groups such as the National Trust, White Rose Forest, Treesponsibility and other community groups, who will be managing and planting the trees.

The work has already started at Gorpley Reservoir near Todmorden with 93,000 trees set to go in by the end of winter.

In total around 6,000 hectares of land across England will have newly planted trees as part of the joint water companies’ 11 million trees initiative.

Yorkshire Water CEO Liz Barber, said: “The one million trees programme is a great way for us to help keep Yorkshire beautiful and make a real difference to the environment.”

“There are around two million trees on Yorkshire Water land so for us to plant a further million shows our commitment.

“Planting trees can reduce flood risk and carbon emissions and give a great boost to local wildlife. It also provides greater opportunity for communities to enjoy the opportunities nature provide.”

Doug Edmondson, outreach adviser at the Woodland Trust said: “At this time of climate and nature emergency, we need trees in the ground like never before. They are essential for our environment, for wildlife and for people. They are at the forefront of the fight against climate change but as a country, we are not planting enough. To meet the government target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 there needs to be a dramatic increase in the amount of trees being planted.

“That’s why the Woodland Trust is delighted to be working with Yorkshire Water, the White Rose Forest, National Trust and others to get so many in the ground as part of the Northern Forest.”