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UK flood report calls for more tree planting

Confor has welcomed a Westminster committee flood report that proposes increased tree planting as part of a range of measures to reduce future risks.

The forestry trade body submitted evidence to the EFRA committee and its chair, Neil Parish MP participated in a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry (APPGF) to discuss flooding. The APPGF discussed proposals in Confor’s 2016 report, Forestry and Flooding, which called for greater tree planting to reduce future flood risks and highlighted a series of case studies from England, Scotland and Wales.

“I am very pleased that the committee has taken our advice and is proposing increased tree planting as part of a more holistic approach to flooding and water supply management, looking at catchments as a whole”, said Confor chief executive Stuart Goodall.

Launching the EFRA report today, committee chair Neil Parrish says: “Flood management must include much wider use of natural measures such as leaky dams, tree planting and improved soil management.”

Confor produced a joint report with Forest Research on how productive woodland panting can mitigate flooding and improve water quality, and, following the devastating floods of winter 2015/16, this was updated by Confor’s Technical Director Andrew Heald.

“This is yet one more important reason why England should plant many more trees”, explained Stuart Goodall. “Confor recently wrote to forestry minister Thérèse Coffey MP to request additional funding for planting trees to sequester carbon following the Paris Agreement in December 2015, and we know the jobs and wildlife benefits are significant too.”

The EFRA Committee will also examine tree planting when it looks in depth at forestry and woodlands later this year.

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