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WQE05 Wooded Wonders: Restoring the Rye’s Ancient Woodland

Cattle in field at Rievaulx AbbeyCattle in field at Rievaulx Abbey

Trees and woodlands filter and regulate the flow of water into rivers, stabilise their banks and result in improved water quality and reduced risk of flooding downstream.  

Trees provide invaluable ecosystem services in the North York Moors, and create important habitats for a wide range of flora and fauna, such as the rare alcathoe bat, and preventi sediment inputs that can damage the river bed which is vital to our endangered white-clawed crayfish and river lamprey that can both be found in the Rye catchment.

We’re working with land managers to identify plantations growing alongside rivers and water courses where we can support works to benefit water quality and biodiversity.

Project Aim: To restore over 200 hectares of ancient woodland by working with local landowners; to benefit the water environment and species that rely on these important habitats; and to enhance the landscape character of the upper Rye catchment for people to enjoy.

Project Outcomes:

  • Priority Plantation on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) and Ancient Semi Natural Woodland (ASNW) in programme of restoration leading to improved habitat quality, diversity and connectivity, and improved water quality
  • Improved landscape quality – removing large monocultures
  • Improved understanding; what is PAWS and ancient woodland sites
  • Volunteer engagement