Cumbria Park Rooting For The Future

Branching out: Michael Holgate (rear) says staff played a big part in putting 500,000 years of tree life into motion
Branching out: Michael Holgate (rear) says staff played a big part in putting 500,000 years of tree life into motion

Wednesday, 16, May 2018 12:00

By William Coleman

The conservation of the British countryside is something I feel very strongly about and love the efforts being put in by parks and sites all across the UK. A Cumbrian park have planted a half a million years worth of tree life in a major conservation project.

Trees are one of the main sources of life for every living thing on the planet and they are being taken down quicker than we can plant them. Being aware of this issue and taking action is south Cumbria's Silverdale Holiday Park.

They are ensuring that the trees they plant will provide a combined lifetime of 500,000 years to ensure humans and animals get what they need to ensure survival.

During this campaign there have been hundreds of native species planted in the sites grounds, which include oaks and yews that can live up to staggering 7 centuries.

It has been estimated that the 500,000 years of the newly planted trees are now ready to branch out and create homes, food and breeding habitats for lots of different species of wildlife. As well as providing oxygen for planet's atmosphere and inhabitants.

The work gone into this project is a lot more complex than simply planting saplings and watching them grow. You need to ensure that the trees have the best chance of surviving, according to business owner Michael Holgate.

Experts were brought in, he said, to plot locations around the 100-acre coastal park where the trees would be best protected from the salt-laden winds:

"An easier option for us would have been non-native trees which flourish more readily, but these don't provide the same benefits to birds, animals and insects," said Michael.

"We are especially keen to create homes and food sources for red squirrels which, with the help of local nature groups, we hope will soon be staging a come-back here.

"Our staff got right behind the project as we had a May deadline for the optimum planting period, and they are now able to watch their adopted trees set out on their long life," he added.

Due to Silverdale's green fingers they were one of 15 holiday parks, from around 3,000 in Britain, to gain a special honour from botanist pioneer Professor David Bellamy in his annual conservation awards.

It celebrated over eight miles of new hedgerows planted in 2017 by the park to create a "wildlife corridor" to help sustain species from dormice and hedgehogs to butterflies and bees.

Michael Holgate, whose family business began over 60 years ago and now comprises six top-rated parks in the area, said the new trees are its most exciting initiative yet:

"This is future planning on a pretty big scale, given that we are setting in motion around half-a-million years of tree life in Silverdale," he said.

"Wildlife will certainly benefit, but trees also help prevent soil erosion, store carbon to combat climate change, and capture polluting chemicals which run off farm land.

"Best of all, trees simply look lovely - and I know that many of our staff are proud of playing their part in creating a landscape for future generations to enjoy," added Michael.

There is more information about the group's parks at

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