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Environment Agency celebrates planting over 80.000 trees in Cumbria

Environment Agency celebrates planting over 80.000 trees in Cumbria

  • The planting was completed with the help of students from many schools and partners in the North of England
  • Achievement supports the England Tree Action Plan. It also helps to celebrate National Tree Week
  • Volunteers are seeking to plant next 3,000 trees in March 2022

The Environment Agency has coordinated the planting of more than 80 000 trees in Cumbria over the past 12 years.

The trees have helped to stabilize riverbanks, provided shaded areas for fish populations, and helped to slow down the flow of rivers during high precipitation. They also provide numerous benefits for biodiversity and wildlife.

This landmark achievement supports the new Cumbria coastal community forest that was announced by Defra, Englands Community Forests and Cumbria County Council at the beginning of National Tree Week. England Trees Action PlanPublished in the spring of this year.

The sale of Environment Agency fishing permits and a variety of partner organisations, including local angling organizations, Natural England, Lake District National Park and Rivers trusts, funded the tree planting years.

Mike Farrell, spokesperson from the Environment Agency, stated:

Planting more than 80,000 trees is a significant accomplishment that has many benefits for the environment and wildlife that depend on them.

I want to thank our partners for their support over the years. Without them, this accomplishment would not be possible.

Our combined efforts to create woodlands have helped increase biodiversity, safeguarded the environment for future generations, supported sustainable rural communities, and protected the environment.

Volunteers are always needed to help us plant trees. We have three thousand trees available to be planted between now & March 2022.

Potential volunteers should contact mike.farrell@environment-agency.gov.uk to find out more.

  • The Environment Agency is not stopping with 80,000 trees. The Environment Agency has pledged to plant 4,000 trees in Kendal as part of the 76million Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme. Another 15,000 will be planted throughout the River Kent Catchment in the next few years. Different sizes will be planted to best suit the different locations. Native species will plant in rural areas. In the town centres, ornamental trees suitable for urban planting will fit the town’s character. The Environment Agency has been working with Kendal community groups to collect cuttings from existing trees along the river. These cuttings will then be replanted around Kendal once the 76million flood risk management plan is complete.

  • The Environment Agency, Skirting and Whangsbeck Flood Risk Management Scheme and Carlisle Flood Risk Management Scheme will partner with partners to plant more trees and improve local environment for future generations.

  • Cumbria Natural Flood Management has planted over 30,000 trees in four years. There are still many more to be planted. These trees are key to reducing flood risk and keeping the climate cool by increasing water infiltration.

  • The tree planting was made possible by pupils from several schools in the North of England, Cumbria, University students in Cumbria, associations, environmentalists, and other volunteers who have contributed thousands of hours.

Oak Field Special Needs School spokesperson said:

Oak Field School is a school that serves children with severe learning disabilities aged 3-19 years. Sixth-form students and former students have had the opportunity to work with the Environment Agency team for more than ten years.

Students have planted trees and cleared Himalayan balsam. It has been an incredible and successful project over the years. It gives the students the confidence and experience of working together to improve the environment.

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There is a bias towards certain activities like education, poverty and health and environment has taken a backseat in CSR fund allocation. Photo from the CSR data portal, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (As on 14th March, 2022).

The students learned a lot more about the importance and impact of conservation on the environment. Many students return year after year and look forward meeting the friendly and helpful Environment Agency staff.

  • In Cumbria, 7 sites, including the River Greta and River Cocker, have seen over 5000 wildflowers and bulbs planted by schoolchildren. This was a support for the children’s John Muir Award, an environmental award scheme that focuses on wild places and was created by Derwent Hill outdoor education center. The scheme enables people to connect with, care for, and enjoy nature and its natural environment.

Matthew Ellis Centre Director and Outdoor Education Advisor at Derwent Hill:

Derwent Hill was opened in 1962 by Sunderland City Council. The Centre is one the UK’s Premier Outdoor Education Centres and holds the AHOEC Gold Standard Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge. Our primary goal is to provide high-quality outdoor education residentials for youth.

Our John Muir Award Programs have been in partnership with the Environment Agency for many years. These courses are designed to encourage children to Explore, Conserve, and Discover the Natural World, and to share their experiences.

The Environment Agency was instrumental in helping these children plant more than three thousand trees, limit riverbank erosion, and protect fragile habitats. Their assistance has been invaluable in helping participants understand the threats and challenges facing our fauna and flora, and to educate them about what they can do to help.

We hope that the Partnership will continue to do such important work, and we are very grateful for their support.

Pete Leeson, Partnership Manager for Woodlands Trust in Cumbria, said:

The environment is mutually benefiting when we work with partners, communities, and landowners to create trees and hedgerows for wildlife and people.

We have been working extensively with the Environment Agency over the past ten years, focusing on riparian habitat that supports natural flood management and fisheries improvement. We have provided thousands of trees for this purpose, and we look forward planting many more in years to come.

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