THREE months of hard work by a dedicated team have created a new woodland in one of Saddleworth’s favourite tourist sports.
The site at Dovestone Reservoir in Greenfield will provide a range of public benefits in a valley and help local wildlife.
The RSPB team, including 15 hardy volunteers, have planted more than 12,200 trees across 20 hectares at the Peak District site.
They include native UK trees which will help stabilise soil and prevent erosion, and so improve water quality, help lock harmful carbon in the ground and reduce the risk of downstream flooding.
In the long term, experts say the trees will also provide a home to a range of birds including redstarts and flycatchers, as well as butterflies, bumble bees and even deer.
The RSPB project has been supported by land owner United Utilities, Peak District National Park Authority, Natural England, Forestry Commission and a local tenant farmer.
Kate Hanley, the RSPB warden who led the project, said: “It’s exciting so many people have come together to help deliver the project.
“Our amazing volunteers deserve have special mention as they have worked so hard in all weathers. Nothing stops them, not even the Beast from the East!
“The valley is going to be transformed, and we’re looking forward to seeing the woodland grow to support some of our declining woodland wildlife.”
Ian Short is an RSPB volunteer who has been working on the woodland creation project.
He said: “When I retired 18 months ago after years of office work I was definitely up for getting outdoors and meeting some new people.
“It is very satisfying, after spending a day on the hill working hard with your friends, to look back at your handiwork and realise that generations to come will be able to enjoy a mature mixed woodland where until now there has been only grass and bracken.”
Rob Hudson, United Utilities woodland officer, said: “The volunteers have done an amazing job and their work will bring huge benefits to the valley, both for wildlife and water quality, for generations to come.”