Richmond Castle turned 950 years old in 2021. As part of the celebrations and as a legacy for future generations to enjoy the community has come together to create a new woodland on a site adjacent to the historic Richmond Racecourse. The idea was borne out of a request for ideas to mark this auspicious occasion and has been developed by a dedicated team of individuals from the town with the local community getting involved with planting. Volunteer work parties will help a local charity keep on top the maintenance. It will become an important site for community activities and a great educational resource for future generations.
With the planting of native mixed woodland a new habitat is being created and with further planting in the future a vital wildlife corridor will connect existing old woodland and species rich habitats on the edge of Richmond. Already with the reduction in intensive grazing wildflowers have had the chance to flourish attracting butterflies, moths and bees. The woodland is surrounded with a new hedge adding more important habitat and wildlife diversity.
In addition to the creation of a wonderful new habitat and community involvement, a new woodland is of course helping towards reducing the impact of climate change and is part of wider tree planting and carbon sequestration projects in Richmondshire.
Rufus Wood is only small but will play a big part in the Richmond community and its efforts to tackle climate change in the coming years.
Our main advice would be to have someone knowledgable about planning. We did and it has made negotiating the planning process so much easier. Have small but diverse group of individuals to steer the project. Make sure you take a long view of the process as things usually take longer than you would expect, especially in the current climate. We have been unable to engage fully with the public on site due to Covid but good online and social media presence has helped keep people engaged with the project so we will be able to bring people with us on site this winter.
The most encouraging part of the project so far is bringing together people from different parts of the community to create something that will be used by the people of Richmond for years to come. From the landowner, business people and local charities we have created a team that should keep the project sustainable and adaptable for years to come.
Monitoring of the changing wildlife and ecology at our woodland through an ecology assessment.
Amount of carbon savings through new trees planted.