Pendle commits to ambitious woodland creation scheme

Pendle Borough Council is one of four local authorities in Lancashire to kick-start ambitious new woodland creation schemes and help mitigate future flood risk.
Tree plantingTree planting
Tree planting

As communities across the county continue the clear-up operation after record February rainfall saw record-breaking river heights and renewed flooding, it was revealed that Pendle is one of four local authorities to have committed significant funds to accelerate the rate of tree planting in their areas.

The leaders of those councils, which also include Rossendale, Hyndburn and Lancaster, have pledged financial support to help establish Ribble Rivers Trust’s ambitious Lancashire Woodland Connect scheme.

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Coun. Tony Greaves, chairman of the Climate Emergency Working Group at Pendle Council, said: “In July we made a pledge to tackle the environmental crisis which is affecting us locally, nationally and globally by joining more than 200 councils in declaring a Climate Emergency.

“We are working hard in Pendle to tackle the heating up of our planet and its local effects. We’re working with other organisations to do things that will make a real and lasting difference.

“This includes helping to fund this major programme of tree planting organised by the Ribble Rivers Trust.”

The Trust is now working with the 15 local authorities across the county with a view to securing further funding for the ambitious 10-year woodland creation scheme – which is aiming to create 100 miles of new or restored woodland along the rivers and streams of the Ribble, Lune and Wyre.

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Last week, MPs launched a new inquiry into the latest flooding while Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new £640m. Nature for Climate Fund in the Budget, signifying an increased understanding that new landscape management practices – including tree planting upstream of flood-risk areas – have a significant role to play in flood mitigation.

The ambitious 10-year Lancashire Woodland Connect scheme will create an expanding network of connected woodlands for the benefit of communities across the entire county.

Lancashire is one of the least wooded areas in the UK and a huge programme of tree-planting is critical if the county is to meet its obligations to reduce greenhouse gases and slow climate change.

Lancashire Woodland Connect will help the county meet Committee on Climate Change greenhouse gas reduction targets over the next decade through planting least 50,000 trees throughout Lancashire every year.

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As the first phase of the 2020 tree-planting season comes to an end, the Trust has planted more than 17,000 trees across the county, with plans to plant a further 35,000 in November and December.

The campaign needs to raise over £500,000 per year of funding from public and private sector partners, grants, as well as the general public in order to raise over £5m. The pledges from the authorities represent significant progress towards hitting this year’s funding target.