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Gair Wood tree planting complete

Climate Plan
Living Lab

Roger Gair plants an oak tree at the new Gair Wood, alongside Vice Chancellor Simone Buitendijk

Named after University Secretary Roger Gair who recently retired after 40 years, the new woodland totalling over 60,000 trees is one of the most significant woodland development schemes in the region. 

Since Roger Gair planted the first oak tree on 2 December 2022, 186 members of the community, 102 staff members and 36 students (324 people in total) planted over 5,000 of the trees at volunteer sessions during January and February.

The final pedunculate oak seedling was planted by Anna Gugan, one of the key team members behind the design and creation of the woodland.

Photograph of a group of people planting trees in a field

With a mix of meadow-style areas and woodland made up of broadleaf species including oak, alder, hornbeam, wild cherry and silver birch, the 37-hectare site will increase biodiversity. Students have already conducted baseline measurements of plants, insects, birds and mammals and changes in biodiversity levels will be measured over the coming years.  

The site will also act as a Living Lab for staff and students and be available for research and teaching at the University. To get involved with the site for research and teaching purposes contact 

As the woodland grows, the trees will remove carbon from the atmosphere and contribute towards the University’s target of delivering net zero emissions by 2030, as part of the University of Leeds Climate Plan. 

Gair Wood is a collaboration between the University through its Estates team and Sustainability Service, the United Bank of Carbon and the White Rose Forest. The new woodland will contribute to the target set by the White Rose Forest partnership to see 7 million more trees planted in West and North Yorkshire by 2025. DEFRA and the Forestry Commission also provided funding for the project. 

Find out how you can collaborate with the core team and get involved with Gair Wood long-term through research and monitoring as the trees grow! 

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