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Productive Woodland and Flooding in UK (Inc. Video)

This presentation explores how more woodland can make a difference to reduce the impact of flooding in the UK. More info: http://www.confor.org.uk
by

James Thomson

on 12 February 2016

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Transcript of Productive Woodland and Flooding in UK (Inc. Video)

Woodland's role in managing flood risk
Trees and Flood Prevention in UK
This presentation explores how more woodland can make a difference to reduce the impact of flooding in the UK.
UK annual rainfall increasing
Extreme weather events on the rise
Water management and existing land use being challenged
Strategic shift towards prevention and upland catchment management
Context
How do trees make a difference?
Peebles (Borders)
So how do we plant more trees?
Challenge the cultural norm
Land use competition
Integrated land management
Financial & fiscal incentives
Streamline planning process
Next steps for UK
Scale: 500 million more trees
UK Govt climate commitments
Transform approval process
Opportunity for rural economy
20% forest cover by 2020
Interception
Tree branches, needles, leaves and roots delay rainwater from reaching water courses
Soil Condition
Pickering (Yorkshire)
River
Fencing
Trees use more water
New Productive Woodland
Upland
Catchment
Percolation
Natural Flood
Management
Strategies
Slowing the Flow
Reinstating
Meanders
Ground
Trampled
Ditches Deepened
River Courses
Straightened
1970s Badly
Designed
Plantations
Woody
Dams
Agro-
Forestry
Pont-bren (Powys)
Reforested
Trees use more water than grass
Change soil structure (percolation)
Interception of rainwater
Reduce risk of soil erosion
Trees can retain water in floodplains
Tree roots are much, much larger and deeper than grass roots

Large roots open up soil, allowing water to more quickly 'percolate' into soil

This allows more water to be stored beneath land in comparison to grassland
By planting trees we can protect soil and reduce soil erosion, reducing silt and stone debris run off and increasing capacity of streams
Absorption on
Flood Plains
Woodland is great at retaining flood water, allowing it to soak into ground
UK flood plains have too few trees
Allowing rivers to flood into wooded areas reduces speed and impact of rivers
Tree roots are much, much larger and deeper than grass roots
Large roots open up soil, allowing water to more quickly 'percolate' into the soil
This allows far more water to be stored beneath land in comparison to grassland
72%

32%

28%

12%

28%

Upland
Catchment
Northern Ethiopia
Andrew Heald, Confor Technical Director
Designed and managed by farmers in mid-Wales
Multiple land-owners working together to create new productive woodland
Infiltration rates inside the woodland were 60 times those on adjacent pasture
Project reduced the chance of flooding from 25% in any year to <4%
120,000 m3 flood water storage
167 ‘leaky’ woody dams and 187 heather bale dams within streams, building two timber bunds, planting 44 ha of woodland
Estimated cost over 100 yrs £1.9 M
Working at catchment level
Multiple agencies and landowners
16,000 metres of fencing erected and over 70,000 native trees planted
Protected Peebles during initial floods
Ethiopia has higher forest cover than UK
Restoring a further 15m hectares by 2030
Water regulation key objective

Deforested
Re-greening
Ethiopia
Full transcript