1 March 2021 – As part of this Trees for Climate funded project 2 hectares, approx. 3,600 trees, were planted in November and December 2020 in partnership between City of Trees, the Community Forest for Greater Manchester and the National Trust.
A total of 8 hectares will be planted over the coming years.
About the site
Quarry Bank estate, owned and managed by the National Trust, is a 188-hectare site in Styal, Cheshire. 41 hectares of this area is woodland which, as well as being significant to the history of the site, is important for the biodiversity of the area and contains indicator species of ancient semi-natural woodland.
Currently, the site is home to birds species such as bullfinches, lesser spotted woodpeckers and tree pipits, otters are present in the river and grass snakes and white letter hairstreak butterflies have been recorded in the woodlands. For this reason, much of the area has been designated as a Local Wildlife Site.
Planting for people and planet
In November and December 2020, new planting was undertaken on the Quarry Bank estate. This season’s planting area covered 2 hectares in which over 3600 tree whips were planted, with a total of 6 further hectares planned for planting and management over the coming years.
Trees for Climate supported this project by funding the trees which have been planted on the estate. The work was carried out as a partnership between the National Trust’s Riverlands Project and City of Trees, with contributions from the People’s Postcode Lottery and Transition Wilmslow, as well as the Quarry Bank Ranger Team.
In an effort to support existing biodiversity and provide the most benefits, native tree species were planted, including oak, hazel, rowan, silver birch and goat willow. A total of 27 species were planted, from large growing to shrubby species, which will develop into woodland with various niches, canopy layers and natural resources.
Boosting biodiversity and other benefits
This planting will have both a positive biotic and abiotic impact at Quarry Bank. New, native woodlands will provide a buffer from development, noise and pollution and provide wider areas of habitat on former agricultural land which would otherwise have a low biodiversity value.
These habitats will increase species richness, as well as being more resilient to high numbers of visitors, climate change and disease. The soil in which these new woodlands will grow will benefit from increased levels of organic matter and less disturbance, which in turn leads to increased carbon storage and water absorption.
The new woods will also reduce run-off and soil erosion and help to address local water quality issues in the River Bollin and its tributaries.
Local communities will be able to learn about the natural environment and develop their skills through greater opportunities for volunteering. Visitors and locals will be welcome to walk through these newly connected woods, situated within the estate’s historic landscape.
The creation and management of new woodland at Quarry Bank acts as a great example of environmental management which will provide ecological and societal benefits for years to come.