New woodland for Loch Katrine, Hay Meadows in Yorkshire Dales, Underground cables in Snowdonia - National parks get some tlc

December 2007

We hear often of large scale investments in roads or railways - and no doubt these do all have the potential to provide benefits for many communities. However, it's good too to hear of some large scale investments in the future of our National Parks. Here are three such projects in Loch Lomond and Trossachs, the Yorkshire Dales and Snowdonia

Loch Katrine in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is to be the site of a new natural woodland. The 20-year project, estimated to cost more than £3million aims to create around 8,000 acres of new woodland that will include Caledonian Pine, Atlantic Oak, birch, hazel and alder.

The new woodland will include new footpaths and cycle-ways so will be a great, long-term resource for both locals and visitors to the area. In the longer term, the new woodland will make an important contribution to the biodiversity and sustainability of the area. Trees soak up carbon emissions so the project is also important as part of efforts to tackle climate change.

Funded by the Forestry Commission, the Woodland Trust, the RSPB and BP, the initiative aims to restore the area to how it was was before large scale deforestation took place over 500 years ago and will begin during 2008. For more information: see here

The Yorkshire Dales National Park, working with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, have launched the Hay Time project.

Some modern farming methods have reduced the scale and diversity of the Dales Hay Meadows. Unique to the uplands of North Yorkshire, Cumbria, County Durham and Northumberland, these meadows in recent years have experienced a great decline in the number of plant and animal species living there.

Through the Hay Time project, farmers are being encouraged to go back to some more traditional methods that will encourage meadow flowers to thrive and so encourage a greater variety of wildlife. For more information: see here

Electricity drives virtually all aspects of modern life. However, there's no denying that the sight of overhead power lines is a blight on many landscapes. So it's very encouraging to see that in areas such as the Snowdonia National Park, work has started on the replacement of some of these intrusive and ugly overhead lines with underground cabling.

A project has started recently on power lines near Coed y Brenin Forest and another is due to start soon near Bwlch y Gorddinan (Crimea Pass).

All these projects are great ideas and we welcome them with open arms. But is it enough? What else could be done? Let us know what you think using the links below.


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