The Environment Agency is drawing up a framework agreement for a range of horticultural, landscape and forestry services to help bulk up flood defences and worth up to £12m.
Teams will tackle vegetation maintenance, arboreal, small-scale landscaping and pest-control services to support flood-risk management programmes across the North West, Yorkshire and North East for four years.
"This framework is for the provision of river-corridor maintenance services," an agency spokeswoman explained. "These involve incident-response support, covering work on raised flood banks, river banks and in channel works.
"Services will include vegetation and weed control; invasive-species management, pest control, tree works, minor landscaping and other related services. Main site or location of works will be the north of England but excluding Scotland and Wales."
She envisaged the maximum number of operators to the framework to total around 20. The contract will cover a "rich diversity" of urban and rural landscapes and will require contractors to work in or near watercourses and coastal areas.
"Services required are expected to include but not be limited to grass, vegetation and in-river weed management using a range of methods, removal of vegetation debris from in-river structures and a range of tree services including tree surgery, general maintenance and pruning."
The contractors will also be required to remove storm-damaged trees and undertake pest and vermin control on riverbanks and other raised embankments. Small-scale landscape reinstatement work will include tree planting, seeding, grassing and maintenance.
- Email carol.caddick@ environment-agency.gov.uk by 26 August.