NATIONAL Trust staff and volunteers from three sites came together on Valentine’s Day to give nature a helping hand.

Teams from East Riddlesden Hall, Hardcastle Crags and Marsden Moor joined forces to make a difference by planting 300 trees in the lower fields at East Riddlesden Hall.

The trees, which included English oak, downy birch, Guelder-rose, hazel and alder, were all provided by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

They will grow to create wet woodland and provide an important habitat for animals, plants and a large number of insects. The trees will also help to reduce flooding in the area during periods of heavy rainfall.

Wet woodlands are in decline in the UK with many being lost, destroyed or under threat, so the team was pleased to be able to help in creating the new area.

Brian Crossley, volunteer ranger team leader at Hardcastle Crags, said: “It was really nice to be part of a group and help to create a habitat for local wildlife.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to work at a different site and in a different environment. Meeting new people and creating something that will help with flooding issues and would benefit the wider community was really rewarding.”

Natalie Pownall, academy ranger for Hardcastle Crags and Marsden Moor, said it was great to be able to come together as a team to help others at a different site with their work.

She added: “We had a great day, made all the more enjoyable by the sunshine. It was really nice to work in partnership with staff and volunteers from other National Trust places, too. The team enjoyed sharing their skills and getting stuck in with doing something different.”

Earlier this month, 23 members of the West Yorkshire National Trust Volunteer Group planted 350 metres of hedgerow along the lower fields at the hall.

The volunteers, who worked tirelessly for two days, planted 700 hedging plants in total, including hawthorne, holly, blackthorne, hazel and field maple.

The plants, which were also provided by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, will grow to create a wildlife corridor and provide shelter to variety of animals, including nesting and garden birds, weasels, stoats, foxes, rabbits and otters.

The hawthorne, blackthorne and viburnum plants will be rich in berries every autumn, providing food for the animals as well as shelter. Eventually, the hedgerow will be stock-proof, allowing the team to remove the current fences.

The National Trust is a conservation charity and the work completed by the staff and volunteer teams will help to restore the land at East Riddlesden Hall, making it healthy, beautiful and rich in wildlife.

E-mail or call 01535 607075 to find out more about how you can help make a difference by volunteering at either East Riddlesden Hall, Hardcastle Crags or Marsden Moor.

When people visit, donate, volunteer or join the National Trust, their support helps us to look after special places like East Riddlesden Hall, Hardcastle Crags and Marsden Moor for ever, for everyone.

The National Trust is a conservation charity that looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 775 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.