A COUPLE have planted close to 25,000 trees in a bid to help increase the space for wildlife near York.

Helen, 55, and Christopher Neave, 56, bought 26 acres of rough grazing land in Kirk Hammerton, near York, eight years ago and started planting trees, digging ponds and sowing wildflower meadows.

Helen, a former surgeon and Christopher, a former owner of a lazer-eye treatment company, decided to plant the trees after they felt that the space for wildlife across the country is being continuously squeezed.

They said: “Almost immediately insects arrived, attracted by the new habitat and food source, and birds and mammals soon followed.

“What was once a quiet and almost barren grassland is now buzzing with life.

“We love to hear the warblers singing and to see buzzards and red kites flying overhead. We often see roe deer, foxes, hares and smaller mammals and amphibians. We like to think our new woodland is a haven for them.”

“We are convinced that restoring tree cover is vital to address the major issues with climate change.”

The duo have also purchased an extra 110 acres in Nidderdale which includes three blocks of Ancient Woodland and have begun planting trees there.

Recently, they have set up a website, entitled Make it Wild, which offers the opportunity for people to donate a tree.

Helen added: “People can contact us and purchase a tree. We will plant it for them and then they are welcome to attach a plaque to the tree.

“It is usually a great idea for someone who has lost a loved one to have something to remember them by or for a new born baby, and it helps us to plant more trees.”

To find out more visit, https://www.makeitwild.co.uk/.