New report highlights importance of productive woodlands in preventing flooding

Published 18th Mar 2015

Role of Productive Woodlands in Water Management

A study, released today by Confor and Forest Research, highlights the importance of  woodland planting for the reduction of flooding across the UK.

The report, available for download from the Confor website, also details the significance of tree planting to improve the water environment as well as a whole host of other economic benefits.

The creation of new forests and replenished woodlands can reduce flooding by:

  • trees taking up water themselves, reducing flood volume
  • woodland soil increasing infiltration and reducing rapid surface run-off
  • trees protecting the soil from erosion which, in turn, reduces the need for dredging as less sediment enters the watercourse
  • the physical presence of trees, shrubs and woodland slowing the flow of flood water.

Add in the additional benefits of increased investment and job creation in the forestry sector and the decrease in reliance on timber imports and the report's findings make a pretty strong case for increased investment in productive woodland.

The report's author, Forest Research programme manager Dr Tom Nisbet, said: "Since there are many demands on land, we have used opportunity mapping to target those areas where woodland creation can maximise water benefits and minimise risks."  He continued "It is hoped the new Countryside Stewardship Scheme will recognise these benefits and place greater emphasis on planting productive woodland." (Courtesy of Horticulture Week - full article)

For full details of the report's findings, please visit the Confor website.

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