Tree planting is being carried out to try and conserve a favourite route along one of the most popular stretches of riverbank in North Yorkshire.

Woodland and parts of the Swale riverbank from Richmond to Easby have been gradually eroded over the years as walkers strayed from the ever-popular designated footpath. Now a local resident whose home stretches along part of the Swale walk has been given 200 mixed trees to plant along the worst hit areas of pathway.

They have been donated through a charity called I Dig Trees and if it is successful the resident is hoping further plantings can take place over the next few years.

Work starts on Saturday, March 18 with the help of volunteers from Richmond Angling Club.

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The path is part of the circular Easby Abbey and Drummer Boy Walk. Part of the way along the track there is a historic stone erected telling the legend of how the drummer boy’s playing stopped at a certain spot in the tunnel which supposedly ran from Richmond Market Place to Easby Abbey. The sound of his playing is said to be often heard still in the area.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

The resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I have watched with increasing distress, the slow but continued destruction of natural vegetation along the public right of way across the property. A very popular walk that has in the past had lovely greenery and wild flowers growing on the riverbank, has been destroyed by walkers straying from the official path, resulting in numerous unofficial routes, bare land and worsening riverbank erosion.

“In an attempt to address the situation, various organisations were approached for help, with no success until recently. A casual conversation with a walker and an application to I Dig Trees has resulted in a donation of 200 mixed trees for planting along the route.

“Volunteers from Richmond Angling Society have offered to help with the planting, starting a conservation project. We are hoping to leave a legacy for the future, proving protection of the riverbank and woodland area.”