Article - The River Blog

Can you help us to plant more than 4,770 trees?

Author: Jeanette Dyson
Categories: Nature, Projects, Uncategorised

We’re planting more than 4,770 trees capturing tonnes of CO2

Thanks to funding from the Bright Green Community Trust and Holmfirth Transition Town (HoTT), during winter 2019 and spring 2020, we’re planting 2,100 native trees and hedge plants throughout our catchment. Through a variety of other funding streams we’re adding a further 2,673 trees and hedges, making a grand total of 4, 773 trees that will be planted by our charity.

With help from our amazing volunteers, we started planting early December, and plan to complete the project by spring 2020.

Planting native trees and hedges has several benefits for the environment, as our River Steward, Simon Hirst, explained:

“One native tree captures around 0.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide as it grows to maturity. Planting 4,773 native trees and hedges, we’ll capture more than 950 tonnes of carbon dioxide, that’s approximately the amount of carbon dioxide produced when heating around 350 homes for a year.”

Capturing carbon dioxide, which can help in the fight against climate change, is just one of the benefits to the environment.

“People might not realise how important trees are for a healthy river system. Native trees and hedges provide food and shelter for native wildlife. They also absorb water and are an important factor in creating resilience in the ecosystem to floods, droughts and pollution,” said Simon.

How planting trees results in healthy rivers

Trees play a variety of vital roles in keeping our rivers healthy.

  • Overhanging branches and submerged roots are used by aquatic animals, including trout, as shelter and to hide from predators.
  • Leaves and woody material, deposited into the river by trees, are a primary source of nutrients and food for detritus shredding invertebrates, which are important food for trout and birds such as dippers.
  • By providing shade during periods of low flows and high air temperature, trees help to reduce water temperature and maintain oxygen in the water, which is vital for life.
  • Trees stabilise river banks and reduce the amount of run-off that enters the river directly during periods of heavy rain. This run-off carries sediment and potentially pollutants.

Even fallen trees play a major role in creating a dynamic river. A fallen tree can trap sediment, create scour pools and clean gravels.

By planting more trees throughout the catchment, we’re encouraging a healthy, vibrant river environment.

Can you help?

River Holme Connections would like to hear from anyone interested in volunteering to help plant trees. To find out more check out our events or email riversteward@riverholmeconnections.org.

Thank you to our sponsors:

The Bright Green Community Trust is administered by One Community on behalf of HoTTWind@Longley Ltd and Longley Farm to distribute part of the surplus monies generated by the community-owned wind turbine.

                            

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