One ‘Hull’ of a Forest

Around five years ago teachers in the city set up the One ‘Hull’ of a rainforest project to support tree planting in South America, which was the inspiration behind the name for the latest ‘local’ project. However, a little known fact outside of environmental groups is that Kingston Upon Hull is the least forested city in the United Kingdom! Together Hull & the East Riding have only around 2.6% woodland cover against a national average of 8.4%. The One ‘Hull’ of a Forest (OHOF) project hopes to correct that and put the city on the map for its reforestation efforts.

One ‘Hull’ of a Forest

The main objective of the project is to plant trees involving schools/ businesses and the general public to help increase the cities woodland cover. Although a pilot art & environmental education project is also being set up with Art Link under the OHOF banner. The long-term aim is to work with the 79 primary schools in the region to raise awareness of environmental issues as well as assist in mapping some of the cities biological assets. It’s important to involve the future stewards of the environment at an early stage to continue the work long after we have gone.

Last year the government launched the ‘Northern Forest’ with a plan to plant 50 million trees along the M62 corridor over the next decade and has made a limited amount of funding available from DEFRA to support the initiative. A common misconception amongst the general public is that the Northern Forest will represent one contiguous reforestation project to create a huge forested landscape akin to the likes of Sherwood Forest. The reality due to competing land issues is that the trees will be planted as a patchwork of woodland areas.

The funding required to achieve the project targets will demand significantly more than the available DEFRA funding and it remains to be seen yet how that will be accomplished in the future as community forests in the north try to solve the conundrum with the aim of achieving the goal.

The Woodland Trust conducted the last major planting activity in the city between 2005 and 2007 well over a decade ago with the Hull City Green project. Although a number of groups have been active over the last few years with various tree-planting activities in the city. The Woodland Trust in their project report identified a potential 100 Hectares of land in the city that would be suitable for tree planting. It therefore lends itself to the fact that we have a potential to plant 200,000 trees inside the city boundary and significantly more in the East Riding.

W. M Jackson Directors involved in tree planting

It presents an opportunity for local businesses to get involved and follow the aspirations of W.M Jackson who have launched a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project aiming to plant 200,000 trees in and around Hull by their 200th anniversary in 2051. The OHOF project aims to match that figure and double the number of trees planted in the region.

The OHOF initiative has been set up by the PATT Foundation a UK charity whom had previously focused its effort in Asia and has now set its sights on Hull as the founder of the charity returns to his roots. The project is linked to the HEYwoods steering group with a target to plant 1.2 million trees over the coming years as part of the Northern Forest Initiative.

Let’s put Hull on the map as one of the greenest cities on the north of the England.

If you are interested in more details or looking for volunteer opportunities the please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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