More than 100 saplings are now taking root in the landscaped habitat surrounding Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Destination thanks to a little bit of help from local pupils.
Children from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Murton helped plant more than 100 trees as part of the centre’s continuing commitment to sustainability in conjunction with partner, Climate Action North.
Hazel, downy birch, goat willow, crab apple, and hawthorn saplings supplied by the Woodland Trust were planted across the 55-acres of parkland and coincide with celebrations for the UN’s International Day of Forests on March 21 2022.
The tree planting also marked the start of Dalton Park’s and Climate Action North’s 2022 Global Wilders® School programme.
Centre Manager Richard Kaye said: “The tree planting is the latest in a series of measures to improve the environment and restore nature at Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Centre.
“It will help provide a beautiful, colourful, and welcoming landscape for our customers, staff and retailers while providing a much-needed haven for wildlife, pollinator insects and birds.
“Getting the school children involved was a wonderful chance to share valuable lessons in sustainability and recognise the importance of green space for future generations.
“Across the centre and parkland we are working to improve our carbon footprint, encourage wildlife and look after our surroundings as best as possible.”
The children’s green-fingered activity goes towards their Global Wilders® badge – an initiative by Climate Action North to inspire, encourage and mobilise community action.
Sharon Lashley, Climate Action North’s Managing Director, said: “The children took great pride in their task.
“We encouraged them to take ownership of the trees they plant and in doing this, they will be excited to watch their tiny saplings grow into strong trees in the coming years!”
Dalton Park’s parkland provides a biodiverse habitat for a wide range of species to thrive, and a colourful, welcoming and attractive landscape for guests to enjoy.
It has three wildlife trails and is open 365 days of the year.
Last summer Dalton Park became the first location in the North of England to host a Climate Action North Pollinator Parks® garden, which is designed to provide a safe place for the struggling insect population.
Sharon added: “Tree planting is one of the vital nature-based solutions to help reverse the climate and environment breakdown and give our native insects, birds, and other animals the food and shelter they need.
“Our approach ensures the tree planting is done correctly. We subscribe to the mantra ‘plant the right tree, at the right time in the right place’.”