Meet the people behind our work: Cumbrian landscape
We have a vision to create new woodland where it's needed most. Pete Leeson is our man on the ground in the uplands of Cumbria, working with landowners to plant trees to benefit farms, local people and wildlife.
Video length: 00:02:00
I live in Cumbria. My role is to inspire tree planting and woodland creation in this county, and I do that by talking to anybody I possibly can who wants to plant a tree.
People have forgotten what we used to have here, what it used to look like compared to what it looks like today. We've lost in the UK something like 98% of our hay meadows and they can be multicoloured, they'd have been buzzing with insect life.
You'd have seen butterflies and all sorts of beetles and lots and lots of insects. Those have now gone, but if you also transition up the fell side to the top of the fell, all the way through those different habitats, all the way up, you can see that loss, you can see how we've moved from a tree-rich landscape and replaced it with ubiquitous sheep grazing.
Trees are an absolutely essential part of this landscape. So on the fells at the moment in the summers we've been having, we've got water temperatures up to about 26 or 28 degrees centigrade, which is beyond fish kill. So if we can shade those by putting trees on, dappled light hitting the back top is good.
We've been very successful in Cumbria in the last 10 years. We've planted about two million trees with partners and with farmers. Now really is the time to start to really ramp up what we are doing. What is it about this landscape that we should or could be modifying to try and reduce some of the stress on it?
So my vision for this landscape is one where we can reconnect people with an understanding of the need for flora as well as farming. So we have trees, wildflowers, we have birds and bees back.
Our vision is a UK rich in trees, for people and wildlife.