Volunteers gather in Wolverley to fight flooding and climate change with community tree planting.

Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/frhmfv6spfw8cbt/AAD3SQEG20W9WlHePr-XLMmma?dl=0

This weekend residents of Wolverley, Worcestershire, were joined by volunteers from across the country to take action on climate change by planting trees and hedgerows.

Trees and hedgerows will not only help breathe in carbon dioxide, they also drink in water, acting as a flood defence, thereby helping the community limit future climate change and also protect them from the impacts of climate change we've already caused.

The village of Wolverley has been hit with severe flooding four times in the last ten years, and the threat of climate change means flooding is likely to get worse. Residents have been working to take action through the Wolverley Flood Forum. This year, with extra support from the National Flood Forum, 10:10 Climate Action and with funding from the Postcode Local Trust, and Aviva Community Fund, they decided to try tree planting as one way to protect their village.

Volunteers from across the country joined Wolverley’s fight against flooding and climate change. Over the two days, over eighty volunteers, including local families, the Wolverley Scout group, university students and environmentalists, planted two hundred trees and two thousand hedge whips in and around the village.

A recent report by the government’s climate change advisors finds that increased tree and hedgerow planting in the UK is essential if we are to keep temperature rise within relatively safe levels. Following this, 10:10 Climate Action launched a campaign calling for the government to triple it’s current planting rates, and is supporting 3 other community tree planting projects like this one across the country.

Chris Rees of Wolverley Flood Forum said:

“Having been a flood victim with my family of two teenage girls and my wife Lynne plus dog and cats and chickens I remember the grief and stress a flood event can create. My elderly mother and other vulnerable village residents were also affected and in many ways we became responsible for helping them, both during the floods of 2007, and the big clear up after, plus 12 months of works to get straight.

Wolverley is a beautiful place, like many places near to water. Here we are in a steep valley and if nature contrives to throw a deluge at you, your heart can miss a beat. We are hoping the natural flood management scheme will help to improve things and reduce the flood risk to the village and its residents. The opportunity we have will hopefully benefit us for many generations to come.”

Ellie Roberts, campaign manager at 10:10 Climate Action said:

“We know flooding will get worse with climate change - which is why it’s so great that  Wolverley is both adapting to the increased risk of flooding and getting to the root cause of the problem. That’s what’s so exciting, it’s a two-pronged attack. We hope this project shows both communities and government that there is huge potential for reducing the impact of flooding while also tackling climate change at the same time.”

Debbie Hall, Flood Officer of the National Flood Forum said:

“Due to the fantastic community spirit within the area, many landowners were really keen to do their bit to help alleviate some of the flood risk in the village whilst also combating climate change by allowing the community to plant trees on their land. The success of this project is undoubtedly due to strong drive of the residents of Wolverley and the understanding and commitment of the wider community.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 Climate Action is a UK based charity that brings people together to take positive, practical action on climate change. We engage citizens and communities in finding solutions that benefit the climate as well as improving people’s lives today.  http://1010uk.org/.

  • The National Flood Forum exists to support individuals and communities at risk of flooding and have been doing this across the country since 2002.  http://www.nationalfloodforum.org.uk

  • For more information about 10:10s campaign calling on the government to plant more trees see http://1010uk.org/trees.

  • The Committee on Climate Change, the government’s advisors on climate change, have suggested that doubling current tree planting rates is necessary if the UK is to meet its long term climate targets. The full report can be read here https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/land-use-reducing-emissions-and-preparing-for-climate-change/

  • The tree-planting project in Wolverley is funded by Postcode Local Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and Aviva Community Fund.