B&Q and Woodland Trust partner for nature restoration project in the Yorkshire Dales

Image: Sam Linton, the Woodland Trust

The partnership will see B&Q donating to fund the Woodland Trust’s work on the site, which it acquired in summer 2021.  Initially, the charity took on 550 acres of grazing land. It has subsequently expanded the site to more than double this area size.

At Snaizeholme, the Woodland Trust is planning to deliver a “mosaic” of habitats. It is set to complete a major tree planting scheme to create one of the largest new woodlands with native trees in England. Also planned for the site are the installation of leaky dams, to improve water management while conserving fish and crayfish; the creation of limestone pavements; the maintenance of historic dry stone walls and the restoration of peat bogs.

The site is home to 250 acres of upland peat bog. The Woodland Trust believes that much of the peat bog is degraded due to soil erosion largely caused by streams rushing through the area during and after heavy rains. This damages the ability of the peat bogs to sequester carbon and act as a habitat.

In the UK specifically, peatlands cover around 10% of the total land area. However, most are damaged, despite the fact that some hold protected status.  The Government estimates that only 13% of the UK’s peatlands are in a near-natural state.

The Government announced in August that retailers will be banned from selling bagged compost and other product containing peat from 2024. Some firms, including B&Q, the Co-op and Dobbies Garden Centres are set to complete the phase-out before then. B&Q has already switched to peat-free for own-brand bagged compost in the UK and will make the switch for its whole range next year.

B&Q’s head of sustainability Sam Dyer said: “As a founding member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in 1994, B&Q has long been committed to the responsible and sustainable management of woodland. Now we are delighted to partner with the Woodland Trust to help restore and regenerate Snaizeholme, and we look forward to seeing it flourish.”

edie has asked for further information on how much money B&Q is set to donate to the Woodland Trust. The charity estimates that £8m in total is needed to complete its planned work at Snaizeholme.

Nature in the news

It’s been something of a busy week for British businesses announcing new steps to conserve and restore nature.

Tuesday (4 October) saw John Lewis Partnership publishing a sweeping new ‘plan for nature’. Measures included in the plan include piloting its first net-zero farm by 2024 and ensuring that all supplier farms are net-zero in operation by 2035; eliminating deforestation in key commodity supply chains; improving water management in supply chains and setting science-based targets for nature.

Elsewhere, Amazon committed its first funding for UK-based projects from its ‘Right Now Climate Fund’. It will allocate £2.8m to rewilding projects across greater London and to creating and expanding forests and green spaces in underserved communities across the UK. The Woodland Trust is one of the recipients of funding here.

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