Volunteers courageously faced freezing conditions to plant more than 250 trees at Bingley’s St Ives Estate over the weekend, replacing trees felled earlier this year due to Larch Tree Disease.

On Saturday (2 December), thirty volunteers gathered at the estate and planted native oak, rowan, and hazel saplings along the main track near Coppice Pond. The planting day was coordinated by Bradford Council’s Trees and Woodlands Team and coincided with National Tree Week (25 November to 3 December).

This effort follows earlier actions taken this year to remove trees infected with ‘Larch Tree Disease’ or Phytophthora Ramorum. While the disease primarily affects larch and sweet chestnut trees, it is hosted by rhododendron and is highly contagious. The Forestry Commission issued a Statutory Plant Health Notice instructing the council to remove the infected species within six months.

The overarching plan is to rejuvenate the woodland, dating back to the early 19th century, by introducing native tree varieties. These trees will attract more animal and bird life and better complement the landscape. Additionally, they will absorb carbon for an extended period, aiding in the replacement of that lost from the felled trees.

The council has a broader objective of reintroducing native trees to specified areas across the district within a ten-year timeframe.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Portfolio Holder for Healthy People and Places, said: “We are so grateful to the volunteers who helped out over the weekend, when the weather conditions were not very favourable for outdoor work. This community support is vital in restoring the woodland on the estate and ensures that it is a place for everyone to enjoy and for nature to thrive many years into the future.”