Press release

Environment Agency helps create new Dorset woodlands

The Environment Agency has teamed up with the Woodland Trust and local landowners to create two new areas of woodland near Dorchester.

More than 3,400 trees have been planted on the Frome and Piddle catchment in a partnership project.

Woodlands are not only an important part of the British landscape – they also improve water quality in our streams and rivers and can reduce flood risk.

The woodlands, each covering approximately 1 hectare, were recently planted at two priority sites - the Came Estate and Lower Burton Mill, where the most environmental benefit can be achieved. Species planted include alder, willow, oak, field maple, wild cherry, hazel, hawthorn and dog rose.

The project, which cost just over £9,000, included the cost of the trees and fencing plus two training events when advisors from various organisations including FWAG and the Dorset Wildlife Trust received instruction in the importance of trees in river valleys.

There are plans to extend the project to the Hampshire Avon where the establishment of additional areas of woodland are expected to bring further benefits.

Kim Goonesekera from the Environment Agency said:

We are very pleased to have worked with the Woodland Trust and local landowners on this exciting project and look forward to seeing these two areas of woodland grow and play a vital role improving and supporting the surrounding river system and countryside.

Hamish Thomson from the Woodland Trust said:

Trees help our natural landscape in so many ways. I have seen first hand how landowners in the South West have benefited from them. The trees planted in partnership with the Environment Agency will hopefully demonstrate how in the long term trees can help reduce flood risk and improve water quality.

Photos of the newly planted woodlands are available from the Environment Agency press office on 01392 352233.

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

How trees help the environment:

  • Protecting water quality: Trees and woods can buffer watercourses from run-off from adjacent land, acting as nutrient soaks and reducing the amount of pollutants and sediment reaching the water.
  • Reducing erosion: Tree roots bind soil and stabilise banks, reducing soil erosion and sedimentation.
  • Sustaining wildlife: The dappled shade cast on the river by trees planted on the riverbank moderates water temperature and helps maintain a suitable environment for aquatic wildlife and improves rivers for fishing.
  • Mitigating flooding: Tree improve infiltration and reduce surface run-off. By planting on floodplains, the release of flood water is delayed.