Dent Road

Creating a woodland for the community

Hull City Council wanted to plant trees on land alongside Dent Road to create a small woodland for the community to enjoy and to enhance the area for wildlife.

This urban site on the boundary of Hull was being used by local residents for a range of activities such as dog walking, riding bikes, children playing and it was key that any planting would enhance the area and bring greater benefits.

Summary of the project

The original plan for the site was to plant a lot more trees over a much larger space, but owning to the archaeological and ecological interest of the site, the planting parcel was reduced significantly. However, this worked favourably as it has resulted in retaining a clear area which can be used by local residents for activities such as dog walking, football playing and cycling, and having a separate woodland area.

Humber Forest delivery partner Rewilding Youth planted a total of 576 trees which equates to 0.37 hectares. The new woodland comprises of a range of native species including Oak, Wild Cherry, Bird Cherry, Alder, Willow and Beech.

As the site sits on the doorstep of the community it was important to involve them in the planting of the site to ensure they were aware of what was planned, the reasons behind it and to raise awareness of the benefits the trees would bring to the area.

To encourage families to attend the community tree planting day, as well as tree planting, Rewilding Youth held a range of nature-based activities including tree and plant identification, nature craft, bushcraft skills, a bug hunt and lots more.

Leaflets were distributed to neighbouring homes encouraging them to attend a community tree planting day, information was sent to local schools and local ward councillors were involved in the planning.

Lot of residents attended the Community Tree Planting Day with some staying most of the day and planting lots of trees. To help residents feel ownership of the new trees they were encouraged to use What3Words when planting a tree so in years to come they will know which was their tree.

Dr Charlotte Dean, Director of Rewilding Youth said that “through employing qualified youth workers and outdoor education practitioners to provide nature connection activities such as tree ID, foraging and nature crafts, we aim to connect local young people and adults to the space they are planting which ensures that they are invested in caring for and maintaining the site for future generations.”

Project impact

Public access and management: This project is 100% open to public use and was planted in the hopes of not only enhancing nature but also the community use of the land.

Enhancing wildlife: Native woodland species were used on this site to encourage wildlife to use the space regardless of any activities by humans that might disturb them.

Engagement, health and wellbeing: By far the largest goal of this project was the engagement with the local community and the enhancement of their wellbeing in nature. Rewilding Youth and Humber Forest sent out leaflets to encourage the community to come out and plant their own trees and take ownership of their little slice of nature. In the future when these trees are grown we hope that local residents can enjoy sitting under their canopy and walking through their own woodland.

Innovative delivery practices: Rewilding Youth provided a wild family activity day, not only to engage the local community with the actual planting of the trees, but to also educate anyone who came along on activities such as tree and plant identification, nature crafts, bushcraft skills and a bug hunt. This whole engagement day was in the hopes of preventing any antisocial behaviour that this urban site has seen plenty of in the last couple of years.

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