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NEWS ROUNDUP: Yorkshire tree planting initiative


06/05/21 | Local news Yorkshire tree planting | Landowners across Yorkshire and the Humber are being asked to consider planting trees to help tackle the climate and nature emergencies. 

The Woodland Trust has this week reopened applications for its flagship woodland creation scheme MOREwoods for anyone looking to get trees in the ground in the forthcoming 2021/22 planting season which starts in November. 

Senior project lead for woodland creation at the charity Emma Briggs said:

“A common misconception about creating woodland is that you need a lot of land but the beauty of MOREwoods is that you only need half a hectare to be eligible, which is around the size of half a rugby pitch. 

“There are so many reasons to plant trees. We are in the grips of a climate and nature emergency and trees are natural warriors in the fight against both. They lock up carbon, enrich soils, improve water quality, slow the flow of flooding, provide shade, shelter and a haven for wildlife and of course they look good too.”

The Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods scheme is open to anyone wanting to plant woodland of at least 500 trees on at least half a hectare of land. The charity can visit your site with you to help design the woodland, create a bespoke species mix, help with form filling, supply the agreed trees and protection, and cover up to 75% of costs as well as arrange for contractors to plant the trees. 

All trees and shrubs are native broadleaved species that will help local landscapes become more diverse and therefore more resilient to future threats such as pests and disease, and they’re all UK sourced and grown.

MOREwoods is funded by Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland as part of a broader commitment to plant one million trees a year over the next decade.

For more information, visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant.



The forgotten history of German WWI prisoner of war camp has been retold through painstaking research and the release of a fascinating new book.

German prisoners compiled colourful accounts of their experiences at Raikeswood camp in Skipton, North Yorks., and published their smuggled works in 1920 following repatriation.

An original copy of the text miraculously made it back to the market town, where it sat in a shoebox gathering dust for decades - before being recently rediscovered.

University of Leeds researchers have spent the last five years studying the text, originally called Kriegsgefangen in Skipton, and it has now been translated and republished.

The book provides an account of life at Raikeswood, an officers’ camp where prisoners did not have to work, through intriguing anecdotes, sketches and poems.

Fascinating accounts reveal a rarely explored side of the war, at the very end and in the immediate aftermath in 1918 and 1919, through the eyes of German POWs in England.

These include descriptions of the conditions in the camp, the daily routines, their activities, relationships with the guards and their thoughts of their homeland.

Anne Buckley, a German and translation studies University of Leeds, spearheaded the research project and published the book, titled German Prisoners of the Great War.

She said: “It has been a privilege to re-tell these men's stories a century later.

“The resilience and innovation of the men within the confines of captivity was remarkable.

“Some of the accounts are humorous, while others are solemn, and some of their messages about nationalism and conflict are still highly relevant today.”

The original book, titled Kriegsgefangen in Skipton, was published in Munich in 1920.

A copy made its way back over to the Yorkshire town, although it’s not known how or why, where it sat in Skipton Library for decades.

After being rediscovered around five years ago, Anne, along with a team of students, staff and volunteers undertook the monumental task of translating the century-old German text.

The book includes an extensive introduction from its editor, based on her research into the history of the camp, and the lives of the German prisoners.

A full list of the prisoners is included as an appendix.

Anne said research in the camp is continuing through contact with descendants of the prisoners, some of whom have played a part in the publication.

She had the privilege of speaking to Wolf Kahler, whose grandfather Fritz Sachsse was the senior German officer in the camp and the first-named author of Kriegsgefangen in Skipton.

Daily life at Raikeswood was, as would be expected, very regimental, with morning reveille, three daily roll-calls, three meal times, distribution of post and parcels and lights-out.

As officers did not have to work, most spent their time remaining fit and active, as many believed they must be fit enough to serve Germany once again one day.

A variety of sports and athletics were played while prisoners were also permitted to leave camp to go for walks in the North Yorkshire countryside.

POWs also indulged in cultural activities by organising a theatre group, a choir, an orchestra and a chamber music group.

Anne said it had been a “privilege” to retell the inmates’ stories.

She added: “This is an account of local, national and international history that still resonates with us today.”

(SWNS | Barnaby Kellaway)

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