A new forest of trees on the uplands of Somerset will help reduce winter flooding on the lowland Somerset levels, according to a campaign group.
Hedgetreesplease is a campaign to plant 10,000 trees as part of flood prevention in Somerset. In the winter of 2013 Somerset hill farmers saw their streams turn into small rivers filled with red silt. Other farmers, lower down on the Levels, saw their fields turn into an inland sea.
A spokesperson said: “Our campaign is to plant a tree every 100 metres in the hedgerows. We have 10,000 trees to plant or save. This will equate to the equivalent of a forest. The roots of trees act as a conduit for rain water to flow deep into the ground. This will assist in reducing rainwater run off and erosion of the banks and hedges. Trees in hedgerows will reduce the soil erosion from the banks along our roads and lanes. Tree roots deep underground help provide a conduit for water to go into the water-table maintaining a water supply in times of summer drought.
“Trees in hedgerows give shade and shelter to farm animals in the adjacent fields as well as valuable habitat for wildlife.
“Tree roots deep underground help provide a conduit for water to go into the watertable maintaining a water supply in times of summer drought.
As climate change make our summers dryer it is important that our watertable is maintained for drinking water for both humans and animals. The water that goes into the deep watertable is water that dies not run off to flood areas further down hill. Trees in hedgerows will reduce the soil erosion from the banks.”