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Improving habitats for wildlife with tree planting

[E]nvironment Agency staff were joined by volunteers for a day of tree planting to help improve habitat for wildlife along the river Derwent.

The day was organised by the Environment Agency and 500 trees, which were kindly donated by the Woodland Trust, were planted by volunteers from Sustainable Carlisle Tree Planting Group and four fathers of Syrian families who are living in Cumbria under the government refugee settlement scheme.

Henry Goodwin from the Sustainable Tree Planting Group said: “The men are keen to show their appreciation to the people of Cumbria for giving them a chance at a new life with their families and making them feel welcome.”

Mike Farrell, Fisheries Officer for the Environment Agency added: “The work done by our volunteers will have a real benefits for the river, for habitats and biodiversity as well as for people who visit the area. We appreciate the work done here, it’s a great help and we hope to have more days like this in the future.

The Environment Agency and the Rivers Corridor Group would also like to thank the Woodland Trust for donating the trees for all our project sites”.

Planting trees can help combat erosion of river banks, as well as provide cover for fish that live in the river. As they mature, the trees also offer valuable shade to help keep the river cool and prevent rivers from warming, which can be damaging to fish. By planting trees along the river bank it becomes part of the natural upstream management and maintenance of the river. This is known as bank stabilisation, which slows the flow and reduces the erosion – which helps with any future flood water management.

The Environment Agency has worked with volunteers from the local Angling clubs, Derwent Owners Association, The University of Cumbria and John Muir Award students and by the end of the planting season will have planted 6000 trees across Cumbria.

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