DEFRA has confirmed £44m+ 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 Government’s England Trees Action Plan, supported by circa £675m from the Nature for Climate Fund, which aims to help minimise biodiversity loss, improve the environment and create thousands of green-sector jobs while better connecting people with nature.
Through the Woodlands for Water (W4W) project, and signposting to the Forestry Commission’s grant England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO), we are promoting tree planting near rivers and supporting landowners to submit EWCO grant applications.
Strategic tree planting by landowners and farmers along rivers, watercourses, and wider catchment areas can support a wide variety of benefits. These include reducing diffuse agriculture pollution, supporting wildlife, mitigating flood risks as well as carbon capture and storage.
The overall project, which includes other river trusts, our national body, The Rivers Trust, and national partners across the country, has developed a suite of tools to support the mapping of ideal target locations that would derive multiple environmental benefits from planting the right trees in the right place.
We’ve been building relationships with farmers and landowners for almost three decades, and the W4W project forms part of our agricultural advice service. The W4W service is free of charge and available to anyone interested in improving environmental practices on their land.
As the W4W project enters its second year, we are keen for any riparian planting to form part of a wider farm management plan to ensure maximum benefits and understanding.
You can find out more about our work at wrt.org.uk/project/woodlands-for-water/ and the wider Riverscapes partnership at theriverstrust.org/our-work/our-projects/woodlands-for-water.