The final tree at Gair Wood has now been planted. The pedunculate oak seedling was planted by Anna Gugan, one of the key team members behind the design and creation of the woodland. It marks the completion of work which has seen more than 60,000 trees planted since January.
Gair Wood has been planted using a mixture of regionally appropriate species, grown at Leeds City Council’s Arium nursery before being transferred to the site. The planted seedlings are primarily from broadleaf tree species, selected with the goal of creating a biodiverse ecosystem for the future.
Almost 6,000 of the new trees were planted by volunteers, with 186 volunteers joining us from the local community and 138 from the University of Leeds. Volunteer efforts allowed for a more rigorous approach to data collection during planting within specific areas of the woodland and mean that researchers will be able to study more complex questions about UK woodland creation for decades to come.
Dr Tom Sloan, an academic lead at Gair Wood who led the majority of volunteer sessions, highlighted the value of volunteer planting:
"Future research will have been made possible by the massive effort put in by all the volunteers who have kindly given up their time to plant trees. I speak for the whole team when I thank everyone who came along to help out."
He continued to say:
"We're very excited to have completed planting at Gair Wood, and we're now looking forward to the research we'll soon be able to do at the site."
Now that planting is complete, the next step at Gair Wood is research and monitoring as the trees begin to grow. The core team invite collaboration both within and outside of the university.