Aerial laser mapping of the National Trust’s largest estate is helping it plant trees where historic forests once stood and protect archeology in Northumberland.
An Â£ 800,000 project, funded by the Government’s Green Recovery Fund, used “LiDAR” aerial mapping technology over 57 square kilometers (22 square miles) in the Wallington area.
The survey produced detailed information on the lay of the land, as part of efforts to plant 75,000 trees in the coming months to reverse the decline in wildlife, restore natural habitats and store more carbon.
The results will help ensure the right trees are planted in the right places, the National Trust said.
The investigation revealed 120 new archaeological features dating back to 2000 BC, including the earliest ‘ridges and furrows’ farming systems, Roman sites, and a 17th century recreational landscape with a large pond and surrounding promenade, as well. only lost historic forests.
The conservation charity said the findings will help conserve archeology, while it is hoped that planting trees in areas where there were once woodlands will also increase the habitat benefits they provide. and inform river management.
The project aims to help the red squirrels, bats, white-legged crayfish, endangered birds and butterflies that inhabit the estate move and thrive in better habitat and wildlife corridors.
National Trust archaeological consultant Mark Newman said: âThe LiDAR finds have shed more light than we could have imagined so that we could better understand the history of the landscape to help inform the plans. of his future. “
He said all finds will be investigated further to ensure none are affected by planting plans and preserve archeology for future study.
The Wallington Project is the largest forest creation project to date as part of the National Trust’s plans to establish 20 million trees by 2030, to help nature and fight the climate crisis.