Severn Rivers Trust are proud to be part of 'Woodlands for Water'. This Defra funded initiative will see the deployment of woodland advisors throughout the country, to facilitate the creation of over 3,000 hectares of new, riparian woodlands.
Planting trees on and around riverbanks, or allowing them to grow naturally, can help to improve water quality by blocking the runoff of pollutants into rivers, manage flood risks by slowing the flow of water, boost biodiversity by creating new habitat corridors and make our rivers more climate resilient by providing shade and cooling water temperatures. There are 242,262km of watercourses in England, and it is hoped that by planting trees in this way they will form a natural network of habitats across the country as part of our plans to expand, improve and connect these places across our towns, cities and countryside.
To support farmers and landowners to create these woodlands, they will be able to apply for funding through the ‘England Woodland Creation Offer’ grant which provides greater financial incentives for landowners and farmers to plant and manage trees, including along rivers and watercourses.
Supported by Defra, the project will be carried out by the ‘Riverscapes’ Partnership, comprising of experts from the Rivers Trust, National Trust, Woodland Trust and Beaver Trust, which will be on hand to provide expert assistance in the selected river catchment areas across England, ensuring there is pipeline of projects for riparian planting in future years.
The Rivers Trust Chief Executive Officer Mark Lloyd said:
“The Riverscapes Partnership brings together leading national organisations who want to revive our rivers, restore nature and increase our resilience to droughts and floods. Woodlands for Water is a very exciting first project for the partnership to work with Defra to meet the government’s targets on tree planting and its commitment to leave the environment in a better state for the next generation. By planting the right trees in the right places, we can tackle multiple problems and provide multiple benefits: more nature, less flooding, more carbon locked up in trees and soils, fewer droughts, less pollution, more wild places for people to enjoy. We hope that this project will be the pathfinder for a route map to the revival of rivers and their catchment areas that can benefit every corner of England, and the rest of the UK.”
Here at Severn Rivers Trust, we are delighted to be leading on the delivery of this scheme, within the River Teme catchment, where we hope to create 50 hectares of new, native woodland annually, between now and March 2025.