Leeds & West Yorkshire

Yorkshire Water pledges to plant one million trees

Young trees in front of a wood Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The water company wants to reduce flood risk, offset carbon emissions and increase wildlife

Yorkshire Water has pledged to plant one million trees on its land over the next 10 years to help in the creation of a Northern Forest.

The forest plan was announced earlier this year by The Woodland Trust, which aims to increase tree cover in a belt across Manchester, Leeds and Bradford.

The water company has been assessing its land to see where best to plant the trees.

It aims to reduce flood risk, offset carbon emissions and increase wildlife.

The Northern Forest project aims to plant 50m trees, costing an estimated £500m over 25 years. The government has provided £5.7m, but the balance will be raised by charity.

'Wellbeing benefits'

Yorkshire Water chief executive Richard Flint said: "As one of Yorkshire's biggest landowners we need to make sure that we manage our land in a way that makes the most of the benefits that a healthy natural environment can provide.

"Crucially we also want to see these new woodlands provide opportunities for local people to get out and enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits that spending time in the natural environment can provide.

"We want to support the growth of the Northern Forest and hope our commitment will encourage others to play their part."

The company is already working with volunteers at Gorpley reservoir near Todmorden, West Yorkshire, to plant up to 200,000 trees as part of a pilot Natural Flood Management scheme.

Environment minister Therese Coffey said: "I am hugely heartened to see that organisations such as Yorkshire Water are already coming forward to support the creation of a vast Northern Forest along the M62 corridor."

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