Today Defra has confirmed the next significant package of funding for local communities and organisations to plant more trees and create more woodlands across the country. This is part of the work of the governments England Trees Action Plan, supported by circa £675m from the Nature for Climate Fund, which will help to bend the curve of biodiversity loss, improve the environment and to create thousands of green jobs while better connecting people with nature.
Through our Woodlands for Water (W4W) project and signposting to Forestry Commission’s grant ‘England Woodland Creation Offer’ (EWCO), we are currently working with local rivers trusts and national partners across the country to promote riparian tree planting and encourage and support landowners to submit grant applications.
We are encouraging landowners and farmers to plant the right trees in the right place along rivers, watercourses, and wider catchment areas. Strategic planting will then support a wide variety of benefits which include reducing diffuse agriculture pollution, supporting wildlife, mitigating flood risks as well as carbon capture and storage. We have developed a suite of tools to support the mapping of ideal target locations that would derive multiple environmental benefits. However, we do not undervalue the importance of ground truthing data sets, which is why the funding from Defra is vital to support our advisors in the field.
The project forms part of The Rivers Trusts agricultural advice service where we have been building relationships with farmers and landowners for decades. This service is free of charge and available to anyone interested in improving environmental practices on their land. We are keen for any riparian planting to form part of a wider farm management plan to ensure maximum benefits and understanding.
The W4W project is now entering its second year and is excited to continue working with farmers and landowners through the six local rivers trusts and English National Trust estates.
You can find out more about our W4W project and about the wider Riverscapes partnership here.