More than 3,000 hectares of new woodlands are set to be planted along England’s rivers and watercourses.
The ‘Woodlands for Water’ project, backed by a number of environmental organisations, aims to create 3,150 hectares of trees in six river catchment areas from Devon to Cumbria by March 2025.
Through the ‘England Woodland Creation Offer’ grant, landowners and farmers will be able to plant and manage trees that will help 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 rivers more climate resilient.
There are 242,262km of watercourses in England, and it is hoped that by planting trees in this way they will contribute to a natural network of habitats across the country.
It’s schemes like this which are key to achieving biodiversity recovery
CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:
“This new woodland creation partnership is a real boost for the sector.
“It will enable private landowners to work alongside institutional landowners to plant more trees in the six river catchments which, if planted in the right place, will help reduce water pollution, address flood risk and boost nature recovery.
“It’s definitely worth private landowners making the most of the grants through the England Woodland Creation Offer as they cover the costs of planting, provide flexibility on what you can plant and where and there are financial incentives for delivering public benefits. It’s schemes like this which are key to achieving biodiversity recovery.”
The announcement is a key action of the recently-published England Trees Action Plan which outlined government’s strategy to get more trees in the ground that will help to deliver wide ranging benefits for nature, climate and people.