There were two conversations at the launch event on this topic; a Working Group is yet to be formed.

The UK only has 2% coverage of ancient woodland, only half of the cover we had as a nation at the end of the Second World War. Only 15% of this is currently protected. Ancient woodland provides huge ecosystem services and benefits and is a very important Carbon sink.

Discussion and Action Points

  • There is a potential potential problem of cutting down ancient woodland to replant more somewhere else under the proposals of “Biodiversity Offsetting.” This is a process that aims to replicate thousands of years of natural colonisation by species in a matter of a few weeks.
  • Zero Carbon Yorkshire need to be against this process and campaign against the development of sites such as Smithy Wood in Sheffield at junction 35 on the M1.
  • Contact needs to be made with the Forestry and Woodland Advisory Committee to seek their support for the petition who meet in York and that of the Ancient Tree forum.
  • Sponsorship needs to be obtained in order to allow the petition to go ahead.
  • Potential tree planting sites have been mapped, proposing a ‘Forest of Leeds’ in the Upper Aire catchment, and a ‘Forest of York’ in the upper Swale catchment.
  • This is an initiative that should ideally be considered across the North – as part of the Great North Plan.
  • The benefits of afforestation are much wider than a simple carbon sink, in publicising the benefits to the economy directly and indirectly it will appeal to a much wider range of people and businesses.
  • The utilisation of the voluntary sector has rapid impacts while keeping the costs down.

Tree planting has multiple purposes:

  • Absorbing carbon.
  • Reducing flood risk.
  • Improving habitat for wildlife.
  • Improving biodiversity.

To support the petition to ‘Save Ancient Woodland’ sign through the link below: