VOLUNTEERS are needed to join a plastic tree guard ‘litter pick’ due to take place in Settle on Saturday, March 14.

Organised by Friends of the Dales, and as part of the charity’s campaign to raise awareness of the need to reduce the use of single-use plastic, volunteers will help remove redundant protective tubes placed around young trees in a private woodland.

Bruce McLeod, chairman of Friends of the Dales, said: “We are delighted that the government has recognised the important part that planting sustainable woodlands can play in combating climate change, increasing biodiversity and preventing flooding. The problem is that the unsightly tree guards used in most schemes are made from carbon-based petrochemicals so they contribute to global warming.

‘They also take many years to degrade and when they do, toxins are washed into the soil and eventually into waterways. Friends of the Dales are working to promote the use of more environmentally friendly alternatives and encourage the national park authority to set an example for other protected landscapes.”

At a previous litter pick, the charity, and Plastic Free Skipton, removed 800 redundant tree guards at a farm in Otterburn. In the last 25 years, it is believed three million guards have been used to protect young trees from animals, a third of which are ready to be removed for re-use or recycling.

The event on March 14 will take place from 11am to 1pm, to take part, email: ann.shadrake@friendsofthedales.org.uk.

People should come prepared with suitable clothing and gloves and bring refreshments. There will be an optional walk at the end and well behaved dogs on leads are welcome.