Tree planting project at Dove Stone Reservoir set to grow

“A SIGNIFICANT number” of trees are to be planted around Dove Stone Reservoir beauty spot in Greenfield as part of a wider project to plant half a million trees by 2025.

The ambitious target is already underway as United Utilities begins works with its partners across the region. The figures have been confirmed during National Tree Week.

The North West water company has one of the largest land holdings in the region.

Dove Stone Reservoir in Greenfield

More than 140,000 acres (57,000 hectares) are across some of the most scenic uplands of the UK, the gathering grounds for the company’s 180 reservoirs.

Since 2005 already 800,000 trees have been planted.

Chris Matthews, Head of Sustainability at United Utilities, explained why trees and water are such good neighbours: “The reason we own so much land is to protect the water that runs off it and into our reservoirs.

“Tree roots provide soil stability, they help minimise erosion by rainfall and keep the reservoirs cleaner.

“Better still, they help to slow the flow of rainfall, easing the impact of flooding downstream.

“When you add carbon capture, wildlife habitat and the health benefits of getting out and enjoying woodlands it’s easy to see why trees are incredibly important.

“That’s why we are playing our part to increase tree cover across the UK.

“And in the next few months we should have some more exciting news to share because plans are well advanced for hundreds of thousands more trees.”

At Dove Stone, United Utilities and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have a partnership to manage nearly 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) of uplands for the benefit of water, wildlife and local visitors.

A dedicated gang of volunteers have helped to plant 150,000 trees since the start of the partnership in 2010.

Kate Hanley is the RSPB site manager at Dove Stone and explained what a vital role the volunteers play.

“Native woodland and scrub are hugely important in fighting climate change and creating resilience in the landscape against droughts, floods and fires,” she said.

“As a partnership we have been successfully restoring the blanket bogs for over 10 years, and now it is time that we restored the moorland edges as well.

“We expect to plant a significant number of trees over the next five years or so to create a moorland edge mosaic of habitats that includes native woodland and scrub as a part of it. Watch this space!

“If you want to help wildlife at home, plant a tree in your garden.

“There will be a native species to suit every spot! And remember that nature needs natural untidiness, stop raking those leaves and removing that deadwood!”

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