People’s Postcode Lottery volunteers help the Dales

July 13, 2012

We were joined by a team of volunteers from our friends at People’s Postcode Lottery who were keen to get their hands dirty giving us a helping hand with some woodland management work in the Valley of Desolation at Bolton Abbey – one of the many woodlands that we’ve helped to create across the Yorkshire Dales.

The Volunteer Team at Bolton Abbey

The Valley of Desolation is particularly interesting and unusual as the plantings have been designed as an educational resource, illustrating the succession of different types of woodland which are believed to have colonised this area naturally since the last Ice Age.  As well as tree planting, the supporters of YDMT helped to fund the replacement of a footbridge across the beck, footpath repairs and an information panel on this site in 1999.

Joining staff from YDMT and the Bolton Abbey estate were six members of the team from People’s Postcode Lottery – a charity lottery whose players have raised £225,332 for YDMT to date and over £18.6 million in total for charities in England, Scotland and Wales so far.

The team got to work in the ‘arctic tundra’ section, pruning any overly-vigorous specimens to maintain the balance of dwarf shrubs, grasses, mosses and lichens, with a scattering of trees.

Ready to get stuck in!

Annie Houston, Customer Experience Team Member at People’s Postcode Lottery, said “We were so excited by YDMT’s kind offer to journey to the Dales to see for ourselves the backdrop in which they conduct their work. We got our hands dirty, made friends with some of the local wildlife (some friendly ducks and a less-friendly-looking-frog) and helped encourage the local plant species to thrive. The day we spent with them was an absolute joy and we hope to make it back there very soon!”

The resident frog

Chris Lodge, YDMT Woodland Officer, said “Today was very unusual for the Trust – usually we specialise in planting trees, rather than pruning them to restrict growth!  But it’s all in the name of education, and it was great to be able to give the Bolton Abbey estate a hand with the ongoing work that is required to maintain this unique learning resource.  The team from People’s Postcode Lottery brought with them an incredible level of energy and enthusiasm, and together we made a dramatic impact in a short space of time.”

Unique projects like the Valley of Desolation wouldn’t be possible without the financial support of the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, so we’d like to say a big thank you to all the players for supporting the work of the Trust and for sharing our passion for the Yorkshire Dales.