More than a thousand trees are being planted by Welcome to Yorkshire after the successful launch of its new personal membership: “My Y”.

The global membership scheme, which started on August 1st 2020 (Yorkshire Day) includes offers, discounts and a much-coveted Y badge. It aims to engage with Yorkshire folk across the globe and anyone with a connection with or love for the county. It will also see at least one tree planted in Yorkshire soil for every membership taken out.

The landmark one thousandth tree has been reached in less than a month after a charitable dedication to 130 hospice key workers in Halifax, in recognition of their tireless efforts during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The special trees will be assigned to members of the hard-working team at Overgate Hospice.

Yorkshire Paralympian Hannah Cockcroft will also be presented with honorary My Y membership at the Halifax location and a tree will be planted at a later date in honour of her incredibly impressive sporting achievements (5x Paralympic Champion, 12x World Champion & T34 World record holder). Hannah will also be presenting staff at the hospice with their certificates on Friday August 28th.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive James Mason said: “We’ve had an overwhelming response to the membership launched on Yorkshire Day. We couldn’t be prouder to have such well-known and respected names like Captain Sir Tom Moore, Sir Patrick Stewart and Amanda Owen the Yorkshire Shepherdess as the first honorary members, and we’re just delighted that so many others have already followed in their Yorkshire footsteps.

“We’re aware of the huge diaspora of Yorkshire folk across the globe and the immense love people have for this part of the world, but what we hadn’t anticipated were the truly heart-warming stories about why people are signing up and what it means to have those ties to our brilliant county. For example, a group of grandchildren who’ve dedicated a tree to their great grandfather who died in WWI and is buried in Gaza. They wanted a permanent memorial to him locally that they could visit.

“The idea really seems to have caught the public’s imagination and we’re thrilled to have reached such a milestone in such a short space of time and engaged with so many people across all generations who love our county as much as we do. A thousand trees will create around a hectare of woodland – the size of a rugby pitch so why stop there?! How many can we plant?”

Inspired by the many personal stories received, Welcome to Yorkshire has now added an option to donate a tree to a person or a group who may be deserving of the gift.

The White Rose Forest and its partner Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust have confirmed the initial land allocation at Shoe Gate Wood in Nidderdale with further sites to be announced in East, South and West Yorkshire.

Guy Thompson, partnership manager at the White Rose Forest said: “We’re delighted that Welcome to Yorkshire’s partnered up with our Trees for Yorkshire campaign, meaning more trees will be planted creating new woodlands and a lasting legacy across our landscape.

“This fantastic scheme means people can enjoy their own little piece of Yorkshire, wherever they are in the world while also highlighting the importance of trees and the benefits they bring not only to our environment but also our health and well-being, which is needed now, more than ever.”

Playing an important part in combatting climate change, trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and every six trees can help to absorb up to a tonne of carbon over a 50-year lifespan. It is estimated that 1000 trees could help to offset more than 160 tonnes of carbon over 50 years.