Nearly 12,000 plastic tree shelters were removed and recycled from the Yorkshire Dales countryside recently thanks to Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust’s Plastic Free Woodlands project.
Landowners dropped off their redundant shelters at Craven Auction Mart in Skipton over the course of three days. These were then collected by Tubex and sent for recycling – extending their life cycle.
YDMT’s Plastic Free Woodlands officer, Mike Appleton, said: “Thanks to local landowners, dedicated volunteers, and the team at Craven Auction Mart, we were able to remove more plastic from the landscape and therefore stop the potential pollution of our soil and water courses at source. It takes the total number of shelters recycled through the project to more than 50,000.
“This is our third central collection in the Dales, and we believe we have found a system that works for everyone. We have enjoyed bringing volunteers out to the countryside to help remove this plastic – as well as providing a service to landowners who want to do the right thing for the environment.”
YDMT’s Plastic Free Woodlands project, which is supported by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), also aims to trial alterative shelters across a number of differing sites and create sector-wide change in the use of plastic in woodlands creation.
“We’ve already seen a real change in how the woodland sector views plastic shelter use,” Mike continued. “Working as part of the Forest Plastics Working Group, we are establishing best practice across the country with a leading number of governmental and industry bodies, as well as leading environmental NGOs.
“We have brought together funding for a large-scale alternative shelter trial with Forest Research, are writing guidance on the use of plastic, producing a number of case studies and will host a conference in November.
“Locally, we are not resting on our laurels either and will host another central collection in either Appersett or Skipton in early September.”
Cat Barker, EOCA Conservation Project Coordinator, added: “This has been a great project for EOCA to fund, and we have been amazed by the hard work and dedication of YDMT, landowners and volunteers in addressing this issue of plastic shelters in our countryside.
“The project has done a fantastic job of enabling the recycling of tree shelters to extend their life, and it’s great to see the tremendous effort being made to produce a viable alternative. Fingers crossed this will be something we see in the not too distant future!"
If you have redundant tree shelters that you would like recycling, then contact Mike on email@example.com