FIELDS TO FORESTS PROJECT
SHELTER & WATER
Global warming brings with it the threat of extreme weather. Woodland and intelligent planting allows us to create shelter to protect crops (by dissipating wind) and also support our soils.
The dangers of increased rainfall and flash flooding can be helped by using natural flood management (NFM). This is the alteration, restoration or use of landscape features to reduce flood risk. Trees, hedgerows and woods are a vital part of natural flood management, and strategic planting can have a positive impact in areas experiencing floods from rivers and surface water.
At present there are areas of land that farmers shouldn't be cultivating due to their steepness. When rain falls on land that is ploughed, valuable top soil is washed away, causing rivers to fill up with sediment and burst their banks and farmers loose their fertile soil.
Another useful feature of trees is that water penetrates more quickly and more deeply into soils under and around trees than on, for example, lawn or pasture without trees. Tree roots create channels in the soil known as ‘macropores’, and water from heavy rain will infiltrate the soil using these channels rather than flowing over the surface and leading to floods. In compacted soils, tree roots have been shown to improve infiltration by 153% compared with unplanted controls.
And also, if we have spare land that needs to be supported, flooding issues damaging houses and endangering lives and excess water, why on earth would we not plant trees?