Peak District Hardwick Hall sees huge tree-planting scheme as National Trust combats climate change

Stately home Hardwick Hall has started a major tree-planting operation as the National Trust aims to help combat climate change.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Friday, 14th February 2020, 12:07 pm

National Trust director general Hilary McGrady recently announced new initiatives including planting 20 million new trees in 10 years, investing in renewable energy and reducing the trust’s carbon footprint as a plan to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Father and son tenant farmers the Ottewells, who have been farming Hardwick land for four generations over 82 years, will be working on a major tree planting and priority habitat creation scheme on land totalling the size of about 111 football pitches.

Hardwick Rangers will work with the farmers to deliver the scheme over the next two years to transform the land from crop growing to wood pasture.

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The land around Hardwick Hall will once again look like it did to first owner Bess of Hardwick

Around 1,184 native tree species including oak, hawthorn, holly and field maple will be planted, providing a home for wildlife including buzzards, great spotted woodpeckers and red foxes.

Overlooking the parkland near Chesterfield is Hardwick Hall, built by Bess of Hardwick in the 16th century. The work carried out will see the landscape change to look closer to how Bess would have seen it during her time.

Ian Hunt, gardens and outdoors manager for Hardwick, said: “It is recognised that the creation of woodland is an important part of the changes to land use needed to mitigate against the nature crisis.

Hardwick Hall general manager Denise Edwards and tenant farmer Tom Ottewell planting trees

“As well as helping with flood prevention, woodlands provide homes for all sorts of nature and wildlife.”

Farmer Tom Ottewell said: “This is an exciting time for our family as this project begins and the first trees are planted.

“As a family who have been National Trust tenant farmers for four generations, we have a great relationship and look forward to working even closer with the team at Hardwick to support the trust’s climate change and biodiversity targets.”