Paull airfield

New woodland created for Holderness wildlife

An exciting new woodland has been created in the area just south of Thorngumbald, East Yorkshire.

Local farmer, Roger Cook and his wife Lesley have been wanting to improve their land for wildlife and climate mitigation for some time. They see the importance of using trees as a means of improving the flood resilience and connectivity of the local landscape.

The new woodland will add to a plantation put in 15 years ago. By introducing a variety of species suited to the location, it will join up the area with more woodland close-by.

Summary of the project

Lesley and Roger approached Humber Forest at The Great Yorkshire Show and asked about how we could help create a new woodland on their land to help wildlife recovery and improve the local environment. We arranged a site visit and looked at how this could be made a reality.

We developed an initial plan. Roger was happy with this and we sent it for checks. The only issues were related to the ecological fit with functionally linked open grassland. With a few modifications to the design, we were able to accommodate the grassland and have the final project plan passed. The Environmental Impact Assessment took this into account and we added in areas of low woodland and scrub specifically aimed at species such as Turtle Dove.

Roger was also interested in making the tree protection as sustainable as possible by reducing the use of plastics. We have been working with a local manufacturer to trial tree guards made from plastic alternatives and our contractor, Scurrah Associates Ltd were experienced with the use of these.

The site covers a total gross area of 3.29 hectares with 2.98 hectares of woodland. Open ground and shaped edges being included in the design. A total of 5364 native trees and shrubs were planted over a two-week period.

Project impact

Natural flood management and water quality:  The site can get wet at times and so the planting should help with mitigating flood risk and reduce run-off from the surrounding arable fields.

Public access and management: Mr and Mrs Cook will be happy with residents using the site for walks and nature study in the future although it is not open public land.

Enhancing wildlife: The site features a new diverse woodland connecting with existing habitats to create an improved wildlife haven. The open areas and edge effect will further enhance the wildlife value of the planting.

Contribution to Net Zero: The project is expected to capture approximately 1000 tonnes of carbon.

Engagement, health and wellbeing: The establishment of Paull Airfield woodland will provide an informal recreational site for local people. Low-key access will allow for re-connecting with nature and have a wellbeing benefit for the community.

Employment and skills: The project was undertaken by Scurrah Associates Ltd who use local teams for planting and used a local (Hull) supplier of the tree guards. Future management of the woodland should be an opportunity for a local, forest management skill-base to be developed.

“It will be a magnet for wildlife and a future carbon sink!”

Roger Cook, landowner Paull airfield

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