Scientists say that by planting 1.5 billion trees, we can make a direct contribution to fighting climate change. Trees absorb carbon, provide oxygen, boost biodiversity, and can even prevent flooding.
The government has launched a £50 million scheme to encourage tree-planting, and various groups and organisations are urging communities and businesses to compensate for their carbon emissions.
Friends of the Corve and Teme have formed a working partnership with Shropshire Wildlife Trust to actively encourage individuals, communities, local authorities, schools, clubs and land owners to plant trees.
It works like this. Any person or organisation willing to plant one tree, several trees, a copse or a hedgerow on their land should contact Rosemary Wood, chairman of , Friends of the Corve and Teme. We will then liaise with Luke Neal, Deputy Manager of the Rivers Team at Shropshire ildlife Trust, to map the location, and discuss the type of trees, planting and maintenance.
Once we have established where trees and hedges could be rooted, we plan to work with funding agenccies and would expect to cover the costs of supplying plants and guards. If the area is sufficiently large we could consider employing contractors to undertake planting.
We also hope to run community tree planting days where everyone can get involved in tackling the climate crisis.
It is difficult to say where we hope to plant trees until we establish relevant dialogues, so we are initially following the route of the river.As climate change increases the frequency and intensity of both rain and sunshine, the role of trees in the landscape becomes ever more important.Contour hedges and tree planting are known to benefit the interception of overland flows at times of high rainfall; root networks also reduce erosion and help to maintain soils and water quality.Luke is already working with local flood awareness groups and the Woodland Trust to plant trees strategically. Again to quote A E Housman, we hope to work with land owners and farmers "in valleys of springs of rivers, By Onny and Teme and Clun, The country for easy livers, The quietest under the sun."
Shropshire Slow the Flow
2,705 trees planted in the Corve Dale
Shropshire Slow the Flow in the Corve Dale is a Natural Flood Management project delivered by Shropshire Wildlife trust in partnership with Shropshire Council, the Environment Agency and the National Flood Forum. It works with local communities and Flood Action Groups to reduce the downstream flooding experienced in many of the villages in the Dale, by re-engaging natural processes in the landscape. This can be through field aeration, woody debris barriers in watercourses, swales or tree planting.
Luke Neal, Deputy Manager of the Rivers Team at Shropshire Wildlife Trust, has been working with the charity 10:10 Climate Action (now renamed Possible) and the Woodland Trust to plant trees strategically, not only to mitigate carbon emissions but also to alleviate the effects of climate change. Seven landowners were involved, with a total of 17 planting sites.
Luke, says, “This was a challenging project with funding arriving late in the season and multiple landowners with several sites on each land parcel. The weather in the early part of 2019 was also challenging, with frosts in late February leading to unseasonal hot spells, making planting decisions increasingly difficult."
With some areas having been incorrectly measured out and landowners changing their minds at a late stage it seemed that we would not get all of our trees in the ground this year. However we capitalised on our involvement with another partnership project, this time with the Environment Agency, in the Clun valley which would benefit from taking up the shortfall. Fortunately the weather returned to normal and planting was able to continue later in the season. Unmuddying the waters in the Clun valley is another Natural Flood Management project and the trees will re-naturalise part of the river Kemp catchment, helping to reduce overland flows there.
Trees planted: 2,705 over a total area of 820 m2
Length of hedgerow planted (including standard tree every 6 m): 1.255 km
Total trees and shrubs planted: 9,030
Number of landowners involved = 7
Number of planting sites = 17
WHAT CAN WE DO AS INDIVIDUALS?
Could you begin a dialogue with someone you know who may be willing to plant trees on their land?
Luke’s project 2,705 Trees Planted in the Corve Dale
· covered an area of 820m2
· 1,255m of hedgerow with a standard tree planted every six metres
· planted a total of 9,030 trees and shrubs
· Seven landowners were involved over 17 planting sites.
This was a major exercise, but if you know anyone – friend, neighbour, relative, organisation – who may be willing to begin talking about planting on their land, please get in touch!
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