Treesponsibility is a not-for-profit community group based in the Upper Calder Valley, West Yorkshire. Established in 1998, we campaign and educate on the need for action on climate change.

We do this through providing the opportunity for people to take the positive step of planting a tree. The benefits of trees in the landscape are multiple but not least is the mitigation of flood risk. Since the Boxing Day floods of 2015, our volunteers have helped us to plant more than 50,000 trees. But we couldn’t plant any trees at all without the cooperation of local farmers and landowners.

If you want to offer land for tree planting, or volunteer, contact us and we’ll take it from there.

Volunteering Update

 All being well Covid-19 wise, there will be a full programme of day planting events beginning in November. See our volunteering page for more details.

The Source Partnership

Helping to create a healthy, resilient and biodiverse landscape, for the benefit of all the people in our valley both now, and in future years.

All the Source reports are available to read here

The video from the Re -Tree it training programme

New Bursary for students studying natural flood management named for our Dongria.  Read the post here

Burning on the Walshaw Estate at the head of Hebden Water increases river flows in Hebden Bridge.

Hebden Bridge is prone to flooding. There’s no denying it, but there are things we can do to minimise the risk. For some time now it has been thought that the burning of heather for grouse shooting purposes has been contributing to the flooding risk, and there has been campaigning going on locally to try and have this addressed.

In May this year, Treesponsibility commissioned Dr. Nick Odoni (honorary fellow, Department of Geography, Durham University) to undertake a modelling study and investigation into how annual burning on the Walshaw Moor estate may affect high river flows in Hebden Bridge, as well as a further supplementary study into the effects of increasing sphagnum cover.

Click here to see the modelling study, showing the main results, conclusions and recommendations for further work.

Click here to see Supplementary Work and Conclusions, to accompany the Summary Short Study:

boxing day flood 1

Community Action Group builds resilience to flooding in Calder Valley


This is the link to the web site of Slow The Flow: Calderdale. This network was set up in 2016 to look scientifically at the issue of why and how the Calder Valley floods and to look at flood prevention measures and solutions to slow the volume of water which comes down the hillsides into the River Calder

Slowing the Flow Tour at Upper Strines Farm, Colden Clough.

Mike Potter from Pickering Civic Society, Nick Odini, a scientist from Durham University and Local landscape engineer Stuart Bradshaw joined us in March for a tour of potential “slowing the flow” sites. Here we are at Higher Strines Farm, where landowner Matt Taylor showed us the work he has been doing on his land which could be be replicated elsewhere. Matt is part of the Hebden Water and Colden Water Working Group, one of four working groups set up by the SOURCE Partnership to plan slowing the flow measures in different parts of the catchment. Stuart is now part of the Flood Studies Group, and Nick Odini is modelling flow on Walshaw Moor to show the effects of heather burning on the rate of flow from the land into the water courses.

Slowing the Flow Tour

Quakers March 2016

Manchester Quakers Planting.

Volunteers from the Manchester Quakers group have joined us for tree planting every year since the very beginning of Treesponsibility. This year being no exception, they arrived on a bright and sunny Sunday in March this year to help with our planting site at Lodge Farm, up on a steep hillside approximately halfway between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.

You may have seen this when we first planted on this site in early March and were filmed for BBC Breakfast News.

This was one of the many landslips caused by the Boxing Day Flood. Tons of mature trees and earth slipped from Meadows Edge down onto a garden below. Boris who lives in the house below heard a terrible roar and watched as tons of earth slipped onto her garden. Only her stout terraces and poly tunnel saved her home. She called in Treesponsibility, who arranged for SOURCE partners Black Bark Woodland Management to build facines to stabilise the slip. Facines are bundles of brash the usually bi-product of woodland management that are pinned to the hillside with wooden stakes. We came and planted trees after. You might well think that if trees were on the land that slipped anyway, how can more trees help? Well a lot of the trees were beech which are not native to this part of Britain They are shallow rooted which means their roots do not pin the soils to the substrate. They also have a dense canopy in summer which means the ground under the

trees is completely shaded out so nothing grows leaving bare and vulnerable soil. To replace them we planted deep rooting oaks and tough spreading blackthorns.Meadows Edge March 2016

Treesponsibility staff repairing Landslip at Meadows Edge, Todmorden. (The staff get all the best jobs!)

Hebden Bridge Scouts Planting – 12th March 2016.

Scouts March 2016

We were very pleased that Hebden Bridge Scouts were able to come tree planting at last. The previous date set for them in December brought non stop torrential rain. We didn’t want to put the young people off for life so we agreed to cancel and choose another date. In the meantime the land where they were to plant their trees and where our work team had done the preparation was withdraw by the owner from the tree planting programme. Luckily Kate at Lodge Farm got in touch right after the boxing day flood to say she could offer a substantial plot of land for tree planting. Lodge Farm is a prime site situated on the Burnt Acres hillside below Stoodley Pike and above the sewage works. The trees here will help slow the flow of run off down to the canal and sewage works.

Scaling Up.

After the Boxing Day Floods it was clear that we needed to up our game, in other words to scale up our operation. When we held the first of our public meetings in February to gather new volunteers and spread the news about Natural Flood Management over forty people came, which was amazing. Some have since come tree planting, one is helping to create a website for the SOURCE and some have joined other SOURCE working groups.
Scaling up meeting

GAPS Residential Planting Weekend

GAPS March 2016

From the 8th to 10th March 2016 the GAPS group came to plant at Higher House Barn, a property near Turley Holes in Crag Vale.

GAPS, or the Gardening and Permaculture Society from Manchester University, first joined us in February 2008 Now they are dispersed around the country they come back every year for a tree planting weekend and a reunion. Not everyone makes it each year but they always bring a new friend. Local volunteers Bill and Colin joined us for the day sunday and over the weekend 1,000 trees were planted.

Residential weekend with the Woodcraft Folk District Fellows

February 3rd to 5th 2016 was our first residential weekend of the New Year. The weather was damp but unseasonably mild. Nineteen young volunteers from the Woodcraft Folk stayed at Height Gate Hostel with us for the weekend. Height Gate is a home from home for this group as it is a national centre owned by the Woodcraft but open for anyone to book. Five hundred and eighty trees were planted at Raw Hey Farm situated above Cornholme in the Upper Calder Valley. These trees will contribute to natural flood attenuation measures in this area. We were joined on the Sunday by a group of volunteers from The College for International Co-operation and Development, which is situated near Hull.
Woodcraf 2016t Folk Feb

 Autumn Gathering 2015

GAPS Weekend for website

Season 2014/15 finished with a busy April. We had three residential weekends on the trot. We were very happy to welcome GAPS for what we think must be their seventh or eighth year. When they had their first residential tree planting weekend they were all part of the Gardening and Permaculture Society at Manchester University. Now they are dispersed over the country and sometimes abroad. Sometimes they bring along people they have met, but they are still GAPS. Last season they were the first group to plant on Gorpley on what must have been the wettest day of the year. This year the weather was kind to them as you can see from the photos taken on the Sunday when we planted 100metres of hedge and a small woodland of 300 trees on a rough bit of hillside near Sowerby Bridge.

We also hosted a group of young people from the Woodcraft Folk. On the Saturday of their weekend we were joined by fifteen young men from Muslims for Humanity. Altogether, six hundred and sixty trees were planted at Rambles, Blackshaw Royd.

Our final weekend of the season was a birthday celebration. We planted 560 trees at Shore Green above Cornholme on a rather wet Saturday. The group included several young children and we were very lucky that landowners Caroline and Marcus welcomed us in to their cosy kitchen to dry off from time to time.

If you would like to bring a group of people together for a tree planting weekend just get in touch via our contact form.

Pictures from New Year tree planting weekend

new year 2
New year 4

A fantastic weekend was had by all. 40 volunteers joined us altogether and we planted 1,200 trees. Saturday morning brought rain and sleet but the volunteers were not deterred. Sunday opened sunny and frosty. The ground was too hard for planting at first but the sun soon warmed the earth through.

A big, Thank You to Emily for the photos.

new year 3

Thieves Target Flood Prevention Project.

 Thieves have stolen over 1000 young trees from Gorpley Clough, our planting site above Todmorden which was in the process of being planted by volunteers to help reduce the impact of flooding locally. Staff arrived at the site on Thursday 27th February to find …..READ MORE

Latest -The Scientists Views on Peat Bog Restoration

We’re not just interested in trees you know. In recent years a great deal of research has been carried out on the value of peat bogs, and of particular interest at the moment is their ability to help reduce the risk of flooding. Click here to read about how South West Water and its partners are restoring the peat bogs of Exmoor, and see just what a difference this amazing but undervalued resource can make. Read more…..



The uplands feeding the source of the River Calder are in a seriously degraded state. A history of mining, inappropriate drainage, acid rain, over-grazing, dumping and quarrying have all taken their toll. In heavy rainfall, soils wash down into the river channels, and gullies deepen and erode. As climate change intensifies, this problem will only get worse.

By taking a RIVER BASIN approach, such problems can be understood within their wider context. A recently published booklet ‘UNDERSTANDING THE HEBDEN WATER CATCHMENT’ explains how a river basin approach offers the best way of appreciating how all of the various management issues are interwoven. Please download a copy of the booklet by clicking the image on the right.


Can You Help?

If you own land in the area between Cornholme and Walsden, please get in touch. We are particularly interested in steep or eroding hillsides, derelict land, or moorlands in poor condition, so that we can assess them for restoration work. There will be no cost to you.

We are also looking for volunteers to help with the survey work. If you have expertise in this area, so much the better, but full training will be given.

We want schools to get involved too!

We intend to develop educational school trips to the watershed area, so that the children can gain awareness of the importance of our upland catchment. The children will be actively involved in the project, by helping us to monitor progress.

Our projects are already well underway (please see the Annual SOURCE Reports from 2012 and 2013, by clicking the images on the left of the screen). We have been installing pilot erosion control works and are beginning to undertake detailed survey work across the Calder catchment. This groundwork, coupled with advice from friendly experts and site surveys by the Upper Calder Valley Wildlife Group, will enable us to draw up costed action plans for a portfolio of sites, for inclusion in the next White Rose Forest Green Infrastructure Programme. We are also actively fundraising to ensure that delivery of the plans can take place. There are many ways in which local people can help our project forward, and get involved…

Planting at Warland Farm

Climate Action in Calderdale