TREE-planting schemes across the Keighley area are helping give households new access to nature.

Several projects locally have been supported by White Rose Forest, which is contributing to a major initiative aimed at linking Liverpool and Hull with trees.

More than six million saplings have been planted so far as part of the Northern Forest project, which began in 2018.

And new research shows that the venture to date has given an estimated 300,000 households access to nature they didn't previously have.

The study was commissioned by the Northern Forest Partnership and conducted by Liverpool John Moores University.

Planting projects have taken place at locations across Keighley district – including the grounds of East Riddlesden Hall, and the Worth Valley – with backing from White Rose Forest, a community forest which is working with local authorities, landowners, businesses and communities to increase tree coverage.

Its efforts are helping Northern Forest towards its target of establishing at least 50 million new trees by 2043, to transform the landscape from Liverpool to the Yorkshire coast.

Currently tree cover in the north stands at just 7.6 per cent, compared to a national average of 13 per cent.

The study has also found that since Northern Forest was launched, enough trees have been planted to fill more than 4,000 football pitches and lock up 19,000 tonnes of carbon, an additional 3,500 hectares of habitat networks have been created for wildlife, and there's been a 33 per cent improvement in flood mitigation across planted sites.

Nick Sellwood, Northern Forest programme director with the Woodland Trust, says: "The Northern Forest is a wonderful project which has brought together multiple agencies to make the north greener – and while there is still some way to go to reach the 50 million target of tree planting, the results so far are remarkable!"

And Paul Nolan, chair of England’s community forests, says: "Community forests have a track record of working alongside communities to establish new woodlands in and around our towns and cities, creating access to green spaces that generations of residents will benefit from.

"The Northern Forest is an ambitious project that is vital to help the north adapt to a changing climate, whilst improving people’s health and wellbeing and our economies. Through our partnership approach we’ve seen great progress over the last five years, and we’re excited to continue the good work through to our 2043 target."