Mark Antcliff – Woodland Officer
Stock do like sheltering under trees. Here we can see the stump of a tree, a mature hawthorn bush, a new tree in a tree guard, and a content looking cow. Tree cover is easily lost over time and so the planting of individual field trees in stock proof guards is a great way of ensuring new trees are coming along with little disturbance to farm management. It’s important to plant the new trees well in advance of the old trees dying, so that plants, insects and other animals that need mature trees have somewhere else to go. The North York Moors National Park and the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which is next to the south west corner of the National Park, both provide help with this type of approach where trees are an obviously important part of the farmed landscape. The National Park has been supporting in field tree planting for about six years now and has planted c. 600 trees, mainly oaks sourced from local stock by our annual acorn collection and locally grown on. Areas of particular importance are those where there are veteran trees. The North York Moors has a good population of these fantastic historic relics. Hawthorn trees like the one in the photo may not reach great heights but they can reach a great age e.g. several hundred years.