Thousands of saplings cultivated in a Scarborough forest are being used in a race against time to plant 625,000 trees before warmer weather arrives.
A small army of workers are heading into North Yorkshire forests over coming months to help the Forestry Commission replace trees felled for timber
More than 200 hectares of land will be replanted, mainly in forests like Dalby, Cropton and Langdale, near Pickering, Wass Moor and Kilburn, near Helmsley and Guisborough Forest.
However the clock is ticking as trees must be planted before the weather gets too warm and sapling roots become active, as that would stress young trees during their relocation from the nursery to the wood.
Equally, it’s impossible to plant when the ground is frozen.
Jon Bates from the Forestry Commission explained: “Unlike many aspects of forestry, tree planting has not been mechanised, so it’s all done by hand.
“A skilled operator can plant more than 1,000 trees per day and given the size of the job and limited time that’s just as well.
“The annual planting programme is vital to ensure that our woods continue to produce a sustainable supply of timber well into the future.”
Saplings are cultivated at the Forestry Commission’s nursery in Wykeham Forest.