RYEDALE is to become home to the UK’s first purpose-built facility to raise awareness about potential threats to our trees.

The Tree Health Centre, at the Yorkshire Arboretum near Castle Howard, will be officially opened next Thursday.

The centre aims to raise awareness of the threats to trees, the need for vigilance to avoid importing other pathogens, and to suggest ways of increasing the resilience of our tree scape for the centuries ahead.

Arboretum Director Dr John Grimshaw said: “The launch of the Tree Health Centre comes at a time when everyone is painfully aware of the consequences of climate change, and the need to plant trees to help combat it.

"We want to help people keep our trees healthy and thriving, and these events offer something for everyone to learn about how to do so.”

Funding included £286,000 from the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund allocation.

David Dickson, Chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Infrastructure and Joint Assets Board, said: “This specialist knowledge centre will build the capacity to protect tree health and lead the way for others.

"The opportunities for learning will make a real impact, and contribute towards the region’s ambitions to be greener, fairer and stronger.”

From Friday, September 24 to Sunday, October, 3, the Arboretum will host a range of activities to commemorate the launch of the Tree Health Centre.

Families can get involved in a range of trails round the arboretum, interactive demonstrations, and a kid’s bug hunt and activity pack. There will also be tree health tours of the arboretum, and a talk hosted by guest speaker Prof Nicola Spence –Chief Plant Health Officer at Defra and an arboretum trustee.

The Yorkshire Arboretum and Ray Wood are gardens of the Castle Howard Arboretum Trust, an independent charity established to maintain and protect these unique collections.

For more information go to Tree Health Centre website: www.treehealthcentre.org