The aim of the Wildwood project is to recreate a native woodland which will create a healthy ecosystem for a wide range of mammals, birds and insects. This will be achieved by planting over 30,000 trees between 2018 and 2022. After meeting everyone at Kielder Castle, we made our way up to the site with all of us in full waterproofs and multiple layers. Even just walking to the site is tricky, as the ground is extremely uneven due to the deep plough lines and clumps of heather that reach up to your waist. Needless to say, no one finished the day without stumbling over a few times.
Before you can begin planting trees, there is the small task of crossing the Scaup Burn which runs parallel to the site. Thanks to the continuous rainfall, we had to add boulders to the burn in order to make it more passable. During the first year, Steven installed a rope across the burn to work as a hand rail. Thankfully, after all of this, it is nearly lunch time. So after a quick demonstration from Steven, we got to work. The majority of trees planted at the site will be downy birch and alder as they are quick growing and can tolerate wet temperatures.
At the end of the day we had planted around 350 trees, it was time to begin the walk back to the vehicles only to find that the Burn was too high to cross in the same place as the morning. This meant taking a longer route out of the site. After crossing the Burn further down, we were pleased to get back to the vehicles and warm up. In the end it was a satisfying day despite the weather.