Welcome to Yorkshire have launched a new personal membership scheme available to people across the world that have a connection to the county.

The My Y membership scheme is FREE but a tree will be planted in Yorkshire for every paid annual membership (£20).

Offering a little piece of Yorkshire to everyone that signs up will unite millions of people who love Yorkshire across the world and by doing so support the creation of new woodlands across the county. Trees are vital for people’s health and well-being, for wildlife and in the fight against climate change.

Welcome to Yorkshire are proud to announce that their first honorary personal members include Mirfield’s own multi-award-winning actor Sir Patrick Stewart.

Sir Patrick said “I was born in Yorkshire 80 years ago and for the first 17 years of my life Yorkshire gave me the inspiration, access to hard work and people to meet that led me to choosing the career of an actor. For 20 years I lived in a house on a hilltop in Wharfedale and the joy, the tranquillity, the beauty of this place has never left me even though I have left the house. I am so proud to be having a tree named after me on behalf of Welcome to Yorkshire. Thank you! AND remember, you can always tell a Yorkshireman, but you can’t tell him much.”

In addition, Captain Sir Tom Moore and Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen have both expressed their delight at also having trees planted for them as honorary personal members.

Watch out for Welcome to Yorkshire celebrity messages on Yorkshire Day on Twitter @Welcome2Yorks from Sir Patrick Stewart, Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen, Alan Titchmarsh and Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Chief executive James Mason said: “This is a fabulous membership scheme to connect the diaspora of people across the world who have Yorkshire roots or just a love of Yorkshire. They may have been born in the county, live/lived here or perhaps have worked here or have family/friends in the county. Members will benefit from a host of offers and entry into prize competitions, Yorkshire’s newsletters, online inspiration and each paying member will have a tree planted in the beautiful county of Yorkshire. There will be the option to buy further trees for loved ones to celebrate birthdays or as a novel way to remember loved ones.”

Welcome to Yorkshire will be planting trees with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust at a North Yorkshire site, and at sites to be announced in East, South and West Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust CEO David Sharrod added: “Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust are working with many supporters and partners such as Welcome to Yorkshire to plant 100,000 additional trees across the region. Trees are hugely valuable as a habitat for wildlife supporting some of our most endangered woodland animals, like red squirrels, dormice and cuckoos. They are also important for our mental health and wellbeing and we believe that everyone should have access to them. The appeal aims to raise funds to create beautiful woodlands that everyone can enjoy for years to come. This will be more important than ever as we emerge from the current crisis, and it’s great to have the support of Welcome to Yorkshire who care about our local environment and communities. We’re really excited to work with Welcome to Yorkshire and their members and look forward to welcoming them to the woodlands they’re supporting.”

Encouraging people to get their own little piece of Yorkshire, wherever they are and helping create beautiful new woodlands across the county, will also create an international membership group and promote sustainability by planting a tree to highlight the importance of sustainability and the benefits of health and wellbeing. Needed now, more than ever.