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Ilkley Half Marathon makes positive environmental impact

Ilkley Round Table tree planting with the National Trust

The successful running of the 2021 Ilkley Half Marathon raised over £35,000 for local charities and has also had a positive impact on our local environment.

For the 2021 event, runners were given the option to either receive a finisher’s gift or plant a tree and, as a result of this initiative, 1,600 trees will be planted in the local area with the help of the National Trust.

The planting of trees helps with the significant challenges associated with climate change, carbon capturing, flooding and ash dieback. The National Trust’s aim is to create areas of diverse, resilient, open woodland in the Wharfe Valley to carbon capture and slow the flow of rainwater getting into the River Wharfe. These woodland areas will also be a future seed source for trees to spread out of the gills and on to the open fells to create more scrub woodland within a patchwork of varied habitats that is grazed by sheep and cattle in an environmental and sustainable way, that supports wildlife like rare black grouse and insect species.

For the Ilkley Half Marathon in 2022 and beyond, the Ilkley Round Table team will build on the positive environmental legacy of the event to continue to identify ways to make the event both enjoyable and sustainable for our local community. Runners in 2022 will be once again given an opportunity to plant a tree rather than receive a finisher’s gift and if you are interested in taking part more information can be found at

Trevor Yong, Chairman of Ilkley Round Table, said, “We’re delighted to be supporting our local environment by planting so many trees. We hope to do this every year with your support.”

If you are aware of a local cause that you would like to be considered for funding, please get in touch with the Ilkley Round Table by emailing to obtain an application form.


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