A recreational area of varied natural landscape and wildlife.

UPDATED – Tree & Hedge Planting on Hell Wath

28.10.2023 | Latest News

On December 8th & 9th, 50 native tree saplings and about 800 hedgerow whips will be planted on Hell Wath.

The Friends of Hell Wath are grateful to North Yorkshire Council for funding purchase of the saplings; and the Woodland Trust and The Conservation Volunteers for donating the hedgerow whips. All the trees and saplings will be planted out by volunteers and FOHW thank them all in advance for their help. Please see ‘Forthcoming Events’ on the website for the dates and times of tree planting activities.

Tree Saplings

Most of the saplings (Hazel, Field Maple, Alder, Holly, Crab Apple, Wild Cherry, Bird Cherry and Rowan) will be planted to fill in gaps along the existing tree line or be used to create interest and height within a new hedgerows to be planted out using the whips. These saplings will replace some of the dead/dying trees that are evident in the Local Nature Reserve and in the long term will ensure continuity of woodland cover and habitat. The species have been selected to provide shelter and food for birds and provide colour and interest throughout the year for visitors to Hell Wath.

Preparatory work is required before the trees can be planted. Some of this has already taken place to clear undergrowth and cut back low branches from existing trees to create areas of light and space. This will provide the best conditions for the new saplings to survive and thrive. Cleared materials will be used to create dead hedges which will not only provide wildlife with a great winter habitat but also protect the newly planted areas.

Hedgerow Whips

Comprising a selection of native hedgerow species, a selection of whips will be used together with the tree saplings to fill in gaps in the existing tree line running alongside the River Skell.

A selection of whips and saplings will be used to create a new hedgerow across the lower meadow within the Local Nature Reserve – leaving gaps for the designated footpaths. The objective is to create a wildlife corridor to enable bats, birds and small mammals to move between the upper tree line and the lower tree line to/from the river without crossing a large expanse of meadow. This new hedge line will create additional meadow zones which will be actively managed to increase biodiversity within the Local Nature Reserve.

A selection of whips and saplings will be used to create a new hedgerow margin on the top meadow running alongside the existing woodland from the Giant Steps. This will provide great habitat for birds and small mammals. This combined with some dead hedging will also help reduce erosion which is occurring on the bank down to the river.

Finally any remaining hedgerow whips will be used to fill out the hedge already planted along the Choir School boundary.