MP branches out to launch plan to keep Valley green and flood free

Nigel Evans MP plants trees with Peter Leeson, Partnerships Manager at the Woodland trust (right) and  John Milne from the Ribble Rivers Trust

Nigel Evans MP plants trees with Peter Leeson, Partnerships Manager at the Woodland trust (right) and John Milne from the Ribble Rivers Trust

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A clean and green way to help protect the Ribble Valley from flooding in the future has been launched by the Woodland Trust.

And MP Nigel Evans has rolled up his sleeves and got involved in the environmentally friendly project with the first trees being planted at Bashall Barn near Waddington.

He said: “Trees are a natural flood risk management measure.

“They do not harm to the environment and, what is more, they are aesthetically pleasing, much more so than a number of other flood measures.

“The Woodland Trust are perfectly placed to deliver on this matter. They have the necessary knowledge and the backing to make their goals a reality and I for one would like to help these brought to fruition.

“Clearly, an obvious step to take to prevent flood damage is to not build houses in high flood risk areas. However, when houses have already been built, it is my opinion that tree-planting is a safe, cheap and easy option which is also pleasing to the eye.

“Trees are a sustainable and low maintenance solution to the risk of flooding. The total cost to the economy of flooding just a year ago was huge. The cost of planting a few trees is minimal and could help save extremely large amounts of money in the future.”

While the Trust recognises that trees alone cannot prevent flooding they can contribute to flood risk management.

Trees planted alongside rivers slow and reduce the flow of flood waters. This is because water can infiltrate soil around trees and shrubs more quickly and more deeply meaning there is less surface run-off and greater water retention in the soil. Not only this, trees and shrubs also serve to prevent erosion of riverbanks.