Woodland Trust, Yorkshire Water and Forest of Bradford have teamed up to plant one million trees in the North of England.
They have planted 14,000 trees at Ogden Water this month, marking the start of a programme to populate land owned by Yorkshire Water and leased by the Woodland Trust with a wide range of native plants and shrubs.
The Northern Forest project will see oak, beech and silver birch planted to enhance biodiversity, improve flood protection and act as a carbon sink.
The organisations say the region is “ripe to reap the benefits of such a project”, with woodland cover currently at just 7.6%, below the UK average of 13% and far below the EU average of 38%.
Simon Mageean, Northern Forest Programme Director at the Woodland Trust, said: “A new Northern Forest will strengthen and accelerate the benefits of community forestry, support landscape scale working for nature, deliver a wide range of benefits, including helping to reduce flood risk and adapt some of the UK’s major towns and cities to projected climate change.”