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Communities plant trees for natural flood management - The Tree Council

Lewis Morrison, Head of Tree Planting Projects, shares some of the community projects we have supported with Network Rail to plant trees for natural flood management

In spite of the challenges of lockdown, the Network Rail / Tree Council Community Tree Planting Programme has seen incredible success in its inaugural year, with over 90,000 trees planted, 10km of hedgerow established, and over a dozen communities engaged and directly participating in ground preparation, planting, and mulching.

Trees as a natural flood defence

The ‘ecosystem services’ of trees, such as increasing biodiversity or improving soil quality, are key benefits of all of the community led planting projects, but some specialist areas have come to the fore over year one, in particular around Natural Flood Management (NFM) and tree planting to specifically deliver local flood attenuation, where water is held on the land for longer and so reducing flooding of watercourses downstream.

This is a specialist area of work as it is not as simple as just planting trees near watercourses, and a number of our partners have shown how their expertise and knowledge-driven approach has ensured tree planting for NFM is done is a way which is fit for purpose and does not conflict with other local site priorities, for example wildflower meadows.

Posted on: 07 May 2021

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