The team behind long-running ITV soap opera Emmerdale has announced new sustainability efforts to mark the show's 10,000th episode, which is due to air next Wednesday (22nd May).


The programme was initially commissioned for a mere 26 episodes back in 1972, with its enormous longevity hailed as "vanishingly rare" by ITV's managing director of continuing drama John Whiston.

Filmed on the purpose-built Harewood Estate near Leeds, Yorkshire, the show is now looking to repay the support that the local community has given it over several decades by getting involved in an ambitious nature project.

Head of production Nader Mabadi explained: "Our studios and village are a large part of the community, helping us beam the beautiful Yorkshire Dales to countries across the world, and all of us on the team are grateful to the Leeds and the wider Yorkshire communities for their continued support over the last 52 years of filming Emmerdale in the region.

"With this in mind, we thought a great way to celebrate our 10,000 milestone would be to pay that support forward, by making a sustainable contribution to the local environment in helping with the woodland project near to our village."

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He continued: "The University of Leeds's Gair Wood project aims to build up an ecological corridor, taking carbon from the atmosphere and improving the biodiversity of the countryside.

"So, this summer, the Emmerdale production team are swapping the Woolpack for the woodland and, under the guidance of Dr Cat Scott and Dr Thomas Sloan from the University of Leeds, we will be helping with the maintenance of 10,000 young trees on site, ensuring the beauty of our part of the world is retained for generations to come."

Mabadi notes that the team behind Emmerdale also engages with BAFTA albert – billed as "the home of environmental sustainability for the screen industries" – and considers the transition to being a net-zero production to be "incredibly important".

He added: "Whether it's behind the scenes or in the on-screen daily lives of our characters, we feel a responsibility to show and talk about these things."

Emmerdale continues to attract millions of viewers to each and every episode, following the ups and downs of a small Yorkshire community, which has so far included 164 deaths, 118 weddings and 49 births.

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Emmerdale airs Monday to Friday at 7:30pm on ITV1. Stream on ITVX.


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