Plant ten million trees to reduce flood risk, says Woodland Trust

Waterfall in woodland - image: Meg Vaughan
Waterfall in woodland - image: Meg Vaughan

The Woodland Trust presented a petition to the Welsh Government on Wednesday 5 February calling for the planting of over 10 million trees in areas of Wales where they can do most to reduce flood risk.

The trust has simultaneously published a report, Holding back the waters, explaining how the Welsh Government and its new environmental body Natural Resources Wales could use woodlands and trees to protect some of the 357,000 properties in Wales currently considered at risk from flooding.

It says that strategic planting of native trees and woodland, for example, as shelter belts in upper river catchments, can be a more cost-effective way to reduce flood risk than hard infrastructure.

Director of the trust in Wales Jerry Langford said: "If Natural Resources Wales is to fulfil its potential, it needs to take advantage of the huge opportunity to use green infrastructure, particularly woodland and trees, to create more resilient landscapes and townscapes."

The Woodland Trust has offered £20,000 towards the cost of schemes in Wales which can help demonstrate the effectiveness of using trees to reduce flood risk and improve water quality.

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