The South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership and colleagues from other agencies visiting site in south Leeds which had overcome both environmental and social pressures.

Branching out to share knowledge about woodland creation best practice

The South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership recently took part in a multi-agency site visit to Leeds. The get together provided a chance to share best practices for woodland creation within the South Yorkshire based teams, but also allowed the deep rooted Leeds team to share their many years of experience in the field.

The South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership team organised the visit in conjunction with Leeds City Council, White Rose Forest and the Forestry Commission through the South Yorkshire Local Nature Partnership. Partners from many organisations attended including: Sheffield Council, Barnsley Council, Doncaster Council, Don Catchment Rivers Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, The Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission and Enzygo Ltd/ Wildscapes. With such a diverse range of partners meeting face to face, the visit opened up conversations between partners and also helped to increase communication between the local authorities.

Leeds has many great examples of urban woodland creation that the partners were fortunate enough to see examples of, each at different stages of the process.

The day began with a tour of The Arium; a tree nursery owned by Leeds City Council before moving on to Temple Newsam to look at historic site management. Finally onto an interesting site in south Leeds which had overcome both environmental and social pressures. The day was found useful by all despite the wet weather!

The Leeds tree nursery

The South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership hopes to return the favour to the Leeds team giving them the opportunity to see sites they have worked up.

Barking up the right trees

South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership Senior Project Officer, Alex Evans says, “It was very interesting visiting the various sites in Leeds and discussing the challenges and approaches to woodland creation adopted by Leeds City Council. It was great to have the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas and see whether these could be related to the sites we are working with in the SY region, particularly those on local authority sites.”

“Great opportunity for networking with our counterparts in other authorities too and to put names to faces of people we regularly email but don’t see in person. Really useful to get a day out to look at the bigger picture.”

Leonie Kapadia, SCC Community Forestry Project Manager

The group found that there are common problems and experiences in delivering tree planting and woodland creation. However there are a lot of different ways of approaching them. Sharing best practice is a great way of avoiding ‘reinventing the wheel’ to ensure successful projects.  The SYWP are looking to organise more meetings like this, to keep conversations going and help make links between local authorities, forestry officers and the voluntary and community sector.

South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership Project manager Matt North says, “This visit was the first of what will be part of the South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership’s skill sharing programme through the South Yorkshire Local Nature Partnership. We will aim to provide as many opportunities to share best practice as well as work together, so watch this space!”