Planting trees and woods in water catchment areas can help lessen the effects and risks of flooding.
Research on floodplain and riparian woodland planting suggests that trees can help delay floods occuring within downstream towns and cities.
Trees help improve water infiltration. If more water goes into the ground, less is washed away as surface water run-off. This is particularly important in our urban areas, where we have the most hard surfaces, such as car parks, pavements, roads and buildings.
Preliminary results from research by Manchester University indicate that trees can help reduce surface water runoff by as much as 60% compared with asphalt.
Reducing peak flood flows
By planting trees on floodplains, woods can help lessen the effects of large floods by absorbing and delaying the release of flood flows.
When planted upstream, carefully located woods and trees can help phase the release of water, stopping all the water rushing into the river in one go. This helps reduce peak flows and stablise the soils and banks.
Working in partnership to prevent flooding
The Woodland Trust works with partners to develop local projects which support landowners to plant trees and woods where they make a positive difference to land downstream.
If you're interested in planting trees on your land, or would like to work with us in partnership, please email:
Or use our online enquiry form