In partnership with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and Treemendous, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) has fully funded a trial tree planting initiative, with more than 300 trees planted in a landfill site that is gradually being transformed into a nature reserve with public access.

Using six native broadleaf species - Silver Birch, Oak, Beech, Rowan, Field Maple and Hornbeam - the planting forms part of the Harewood Whin reclamation project, to turn the site into a green public space with benefits for people, wildlife and the environment as a whole.

This initial trial forms part of a wider tree planting initiative through which, as sole project funder, the NYMR has helped secure and establish a vital 30-year commitment by a local landowner to maintain the site as woodland.

The partnership paves the way for securing land and match funding for future tree planting plans, including a lead which could be developed into schemes that would see over 5,000 trees planted this coming winter season alone.

The publicly accessible area, which borders a footpath/cycle track, is part of a larger “wildlife corridor” that stretches west from the outskirts of York into the countryside of North Yorkshire and offers wildlife a haven of relatively quiet/undisturbed green space.  The area is full of a wide range of native flora and fauna that already exists in close proximity to the busy suburban/urbanised areas of York.

Kerry Fieldhouse, Lineside Conservation Officer at the NYMR commented: “We are really pleased to be able to support TCV with this tree planting initiative which establishes woodland copses that will help connect habitats benefiting both the local community and wildlife.

“We are working hard to conserve biodiversity along our lineside and initiatives like this help us to extend our reach and support a local project like this.”

John Preston, Business Development Manager at The Conservation Volunteers added: “We’re delighted to be working with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway; woodlands are integral to the settings of heritage railways, and this investment in tree planting in the catchment area of the NYMR recognises that all businesses and everyone has a responsibility for the natural world”.

As part of the Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey appeal, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund the NYMR lineside ecology work and outreach programme is part of a long term programme to conserve our biodiversity along our lineside and engage with local organisations and communities as part of the NYMR charitable aims.

TCV works alongside Treemendous, an organisation which focuses on small-scale planting around the city of York with the aim to bring people together to create, improve and care for green spaces - including local parks, community gardens, nature reserves and sites of special scientific interest that form a vital part of local communities.

TCV is also engaged with other larger planting projects via the Northern Forest Initiative, where it is planting tens of thousands of trees every year across the Yorkshire region.

For more information or to get involved with the TCV, visit