Landowners covering more than a third of Yorkshire’s land area gathered at Cloth Hall in Leeds recently to discuss how changes to land management can help address one of the greatest challenges facing the planet, climate change.
Facilitated by Yorkshire Water, the inaugural Yorkshire Land Anchor Network Event had representatives from organisations such as the National Trust, Church of England, Public Health England and Crown Estate.
In what was the largest gathering of its kind, land owners, environmental campaigners and other experts discussed how working together to plant trees and restore peat bogs could make a real difference in tackling climate change in the region. Yorkshire Water is already working with the National Trust and other bodies in the region to plant one million trees, while peatlands can store twice as much carbon as forests.
The event also explored how, by working together across Yorkshire, organisations could pool resources and unblock common challenges faced by farmers and other groups trying to deliver change on the ground.
The workshops explored a range of themes based on the Six Capitals – a concept which helps organisations to make more sustainable decisions by thinking beyond the traditional financial balance sheet and valuing the wide range of resources that we all rely and impact on – natural, social, human, manufactured, intellectual and financial capital.
Yorkshire Water CEO, Liz Barber, said:
“Yorkshire Water is the second largest landowner in the county and the 16th biggest in the country so what we do with our land can have a big impact and make a real impact on the environment. Planting trees can help reduce flood risk, improve air quality and capture carbon, whilst restoring precious peatlands can improve water quality, and play a huge role to help to tackle climate change.
“However, whilst we can have an impact by working on our own land, we can achieve so much more if we work together with others in a consistent way. I’m delighted that there was so much appetite in the room to work together and I’m excited to see what can be achieved when we reconvene in the New Year.”
National Trust Regional Director – North England, Mike Innerdale, said:
“The principle idea of Land Anchor as a way of bringing all sectors and voices of the region together to discuss how land can be re-purposed to the benefit of the people of Yorkshire truly shone through the discussions. There is a real sense of an opportunity to think and work differently and an appreciation of the role Yorkshire Water has played in bringing such a diverse group together.”