Emmerdale marks 10,000th episode milestone with tree project

ITV soap Emmerdale is marking its 10,000th episode milestone by helping with a local tree project.

The Yorkshire Dales-based drama, which was originally commissioned as Emmerdale Farm for 26 episodes in 1972, is thanking the nearby community by contributing to the maintenance of 10,000 trees.

Emmerdale’s head of production Nader Mabadi said the soap’s 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,” he added.

As part of the University of Leeds’ Gair Wood project, the soap’s team will be “ensuring the beauty of our part of the world is retained for generations to come”, Mr Mabadi said.

He added: “The woodland project is one of many ways we engage with sustainability.”

The soap is also working with organisations such as sustainable production company Bafta albert to transition to net zero behind the scenes, and also references the subject of sustainability on the show.

John Whiston, managing director of continuing drama and head of ITV in the north, said: “Very few TV programmes in the world have made it to 10,000 (episodes). Even fewer dramas have managed to get that far.

“And for a drama to do it in such style is vanishingly rare. Emmerdale today feels full of excitement, full of mischief, full of fun and full of life. Long may it continue to prosper and thrive.”

British Soap Awards 2023 – Salford
Isabel Hodgins plays Victoria Sugden in Emmerdale (Danny Lawson/PA)

Emmerdale, which came from the mind of former actor and playwright Kevin Laffan, was first broadcast on October 16 1972 by Yorkshire Television as “the living story of the Sugden family”.

It opened with the funeral of patriarch Jacob Sugden, and there has since been more than 150 deaths along with some 100 weddings and more than 40 babies born on the soap.

The word farm was dropped from the title of the programme on November 14 1989 as the show shifted the focus beyond the Sugden family and the land to the wider village.

Filming at the Harewood village began in 1998 and the original family is represented by Isabel Hodgins as Victoria Sugden.

The cast of Emmerdale will gather on Wednesday May 22 to mark the milestone.