Terrific trees and wonderful woodlands- why we plant trees

With help from grants, donations, supporters, and volunteers we’ve planted over 150,000 trees across more than 180 hectares in the last 21 years. Over winter 2019/2020 we will be planting another 10,000 trees, with an even bigger number planned for winter 2020/2021.

It’s safe to say that the catchment is looking greener, but why is this important?

Trees are particularly important alongside streams and rivers as they provide shelter and keep the water temperature cool
Trees are particularly important alongside streams and rivers as they provide shelter and keep the water temperature cool

We all know that the planet is facing a climate emergency, and we’re already starting to see the effects of climate change. Luckily, we know we can partly mitigate these effects by planting trees and helping our habitats to grow, become more joined up, and naturally regenerate. Woodlands have the potential to capture huge amounts of carbon as they grow, removing it from our atmosphere and locking it up whilst giving us clean air.

Climate change and biodiversity decline are pressing issues and the effects are already causing a clear decline in some species. By planting small woodlands, woodland corridors, and hedges we are providing new habitats for insects, birds, and mammals, and providing them with a way of moving around. Increasing the amount of available habitat and the potential ranges of animals also increases their resilience to future changes with a bigger genetic pool, larger, more joined up populations, and greater access to food and homes.

Extreme weather has caused problems for many, but the solution may partly lie in natural flood risk management. Natural flood risk management encompasses numerous natural processes that take place in our water and river systems, including peat on hills which sucks up excess water like a sponge, to ponds and leaky dams which holding flood water back and release it slowly. Trees are a key part in this process, absorbing a proportion of the water, slowing it’s journey into river systems, and releasing it slowly and steadily over hours and days.

If none of this inspires you then remember that trees and woodlands are beautiful!

A weekend wander wouldn’t be the same without taking in the calm, tranquil presence of trees and watching all the wildlife they’re supporting and our gardens, streets, footpaths, canal sides, and parks would be bare without trees; the outdoors simply wouldn’t be the same!

Our lovely volunteers help us with our habitat improvements again and again- we couldn't do it without them!
Our lovely volunteers help us with our habitat improvements again and again- we couldn’t do it without them!

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance- please read

Please note that, following Government guidelines and the fact UK Chief Medical Officers have now raised the Coronavirus (COVID-19) risk to the UK from moderate to high, Ribble Rivers Trust are taking precautions, and making changes to our day to day operations.

Some Ribble Rivers Trust staff are now working from home. If you wish to speak to a specific member of staff and you know their mobile phone number or email address please contact them in this way. Otherwise please contact us in the usual way.

Volunteer event cancellations

Dear volunteers,

It is with regret that we announce that we are postponing all volunteer activity with Ribble Rivers Trust. We know there are many benefits to volunteering, including the positive boost to mental and physical health, the chance to meet others and contribute positively to your local area. However, given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the most recent Government advice – asking everybody in the UK to stay at home and only go out for essentials such as food and medicine – we feel that continuing to include volunteers in the limited work we are able to do now would put people at unnecessary risk and be irresponsible. We all want to improve and protect our environment and rivers, but to do that we need to stay healthy and this must be our priority for the time being. We will continue to keep you up to date with the work we are able to do and will organise new volunteer days as soon as we possibly can. Please stay connected with us over the coming weeks and keep yourselves safe and well.

Refer to gov.uk/coronavirus for up to date information and guidance.

We will come through this and our environment and rivers will still need you, let’s make sure we’re all ready for it when the time comes.

Yours faithfully,

Jack Spees.