Youngsters have completed the last stage of a project to improve the woodlands and riverbanks around Durham Cathedral.
The Dene Team, Natural England’s award- winning volunteer youth conservation group, which consists aged nine to 16-year-olds, planted trees and shrubs on Saturday (February 14) to help the biodiversity of the World Heritage Site that includes the Cathedral and Durham Castle in the heart of the historic city.
They planted species such as hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, yew and wild cherry and longer-living canopy species such as oak.
The three-year Durham Cathedral’s Woodlands and Riverbanks Project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with additional support from Biffa Award, The Banks Community Fund, and The Friends of Durham Cathedral.
Gina Davies, the Cathedral’s Woodlands and Riverbanks Officer, said: “The planting of new trees for the future goes hand in hand with tree-felling and is crucial for the sustainable long term future of the woodland.
“We are extremely grateful to the Dene Team for their amazing support. They love visiting the site and are keen to help look after it for future visitors to enjoy. “
Joe Davies, Lead Engagement Advisor for Natural England, said: “The work of this selfless group of fine young people often goes unnoticed, but what is so special about this group is that the young members willingly volunteer their time on a weekend to make a positive contribution to both the community and to see positive improvements within the local environment.
“The Dene Team is a role model for other groups, demonstrating camaraderie and team work in what is a notoriously difficult age group to engage.
“The young people themselves also benefit by developing social skills, building confidence and increasing their knowledge of the natural environment.”