The project began in September 2020 and is ongoing.

The aim of the Trees for Water Programme is to provide targeted tree planting in locations which will improve water management and reduce – or slow the flow of – water across the main watercourses of Somerset. The initial areas of focus were Mendip and South Somerset but this has now been widened to the whole county. The project is funded by the Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) and led by Reimagining the Levels (RtL) in partnership with FWAG SW and the Woodland Trust. The Woodland Trust have provided a stock of trees to the Project which have been held in a temporary nursery and then distributed to the individual planting sites.  

Through applications to the Trees for Water Programme, farmers and landowners may be able to access free trees, shrubs and hedging, as well as a grant towards the labour costs of planting - £1/tree planted and £2/metre of hedgerow.  

Trees and hedgerows through this programme are planted across fields and slopes, in areas where surface water runoff can be best prevented or reduced. Vegetation helps provide a physical barrier to runoff, uptakes water from the soil, and improves soil structure which allows water to infiltrate downwards to the groundwater table.  

23 tree and hedge planting schemes were carried out in winter 2020/21 and 52 schemes in 2021/22. There has been a significant engagement with volunteers through partnership with Reimagining the Levels, which you can find out more about here...

Get in touch with Ben Thorne ([email protected]) for more information.