Best Wishes for a healthy, active 2021 from all of us at Reimagining the Levels (RtL).
We wanted to give you some new year cheer in these extraordinary times, to thank you for the interest and enthusiasm you have shown for our activities and vision, and to provide a reminder of how far we have come since 2014. Click here for the full write up.
Trees for Water
Reimagining the Levels, in partnership with the Somerset Rivers Authority, Farmers and Wildlife Advisory Group SouthWest and the Woodland Trust, have funding, expertise and materials available for small plantings of trees and hedges that will aid water management. In recent years, Somerset has experienced sudden and prolonged flooding from extreme weather events and Somerset Rivers Authority is keen to support local flood management schemes. Slowing the flow of water by allowing it to percolate through the soil into the aquifers rather than overwhelming streams and rivers is the focus of the scheme. It is a way of working with nature to alleviate flood risk, using trees to infiltrate the soil and intercept heavy rainfall.
Landowners and Parish Councils with small areas of land that would not ordinarily attract funding can apply. Local knowledge of water pathways and areas that frequently flood would be helpful but is not essential; rather it would be useful to think about areas which are adjacent to watercourses or which will intercept surface water runoff and slow the flow in Somerset’s’ rivers. Retaining water in the mid and Upper catchments will help reduce flooding in the levels.Reimagining the Levels will offer expert advice on appropriate planting for the landscape, supply trees, supports and protections along with a payment for every tree planted.
This programme is available for the planting season of 2020-2021. If you are interested, get in touch with Kate Towers using the email form below.
VOLUNTEERS FOR TREE PLANTING WANTED
If you’re holding a sapling in your hand when the Messiah arrives, first plant the sapling then go out and greet the Messiah.
Reimagining the Levels, in partnership with Somerset Rivers Authority, the Woodland Trust and Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group SouthWest (FWAG SW), are preparing for a busy tree-planting season (November – March) and would like to recruit volunteers to help out. Our aim is to plant trees and hedgerows on small(ish) pockets of land that will ‘slow the flow’ of water and contribute to water and flood management. We are also working with community groups planting woodlands and orchards.
In these Covid times we will have to respect strict physical distancing rules and contact and trace requirements. We will have only small numbers of volunteer planters with sanitizing stations.
At the beginning of the day we will offer a simple lesson in good planting methods, (a well planted tree will enhance survival whilst a poorly planted tree’s chances are diminished) and explain our programme of tree maintenance. A basic lunch of soup and fruit will be on offer plus regular tea breaks.
You can expect to get dirty but have a wonderful day. You will be outside in ‘the weather’ with interesting people and nature. You should wear weather appropriate clothing and if possible, bring your own spade. You will also need to bring a cup, bowl and spoon – or your own refreshments.
If this sounds like something you would like to be involved with, then please get in touch using the form below. Spread the word, let others know they can be part of something big and healing in these challenging times.
TREES FOR WATER and VOLUNTEERS contact here:
Tree Planting case studies
Four Reimagining the Levels posters (pdf) – Wedmore, B’boro, Godney, Barton.
August 2019 Tree Conference event.
The Somerset Tree Fund
Trees are incredibly important. Their role in combating climate chaos is perhaps the best argument for planting more as they help to provide cleaner air, flood mitigation and lessen soil erosion. They also provide homes to thousands of species, support livelihoods and promote human development, happiness and mental health.
Unfortunately, the level of tree cover in Somerset is woefully low. The national average is 13% cover (compared to an EU average of 35%) and within Somerset our cover is just 6%. Reimagining the Levels have been working to encourage and persuade more tree planting in our catchments and river plains, and have planted on seven specific sites last winter but we need help to allow us and all our community based partners across Somerset to do more.
If you have ever thought that planting a tree would be a good thing to do but don’t know how to go about it here is some GOOD NEWS! Reimagining the Levels is now partnered with the Somerset Community Foundation and can receive donations for tree planting in Somerset. These donations can make use of Gift Aid to maximise their value.
£25 will buy 10 trees with biodegradable protective cases, supports and mulch
£50 will buy 20 trees with biodegradable protective cases, supports and mulch
£100 will buy 40 trees with biodegradable protective cases, supports and mulch
£250 will buy 100 trees with biodegradable protective cases, supports and mulch
And so on…..
All monies accumulated in the account will go to purchasing and planting trees in Somerset and the benefits will be immediate.
Donate NOW by sending money on the link below. Plant trees in memory of a loved one, for your granny or grandpa, children, friends or yourself – everyone benefits!
Our Project Reports
Reimagining the Levels, Making the Connections
About Reimagining The Levels
We are a group of people who all live on the Somerset Levels and care passionately about its future. The devastating effects of the floods in 2013/14 to individuals, communities, the economy and the environment demonstrated the pressing need for a more joined-up approach that looks at the causes and solutions to flooding across the entire catchment. The world’s changing climate poses a critical challenge to the people and landscape of the Somerset Levels. Brexit too will have dramatic and far reaching implications but we believe that these changes could provide the ideal opportunity for a new vision for rural land use and its economy in terms of food production, farming support, environmental protection and rural development. We have published a comprehensive report (see opposite) which details our vision. Our core group members are listed here.
Our Project area
Where we have planted trees
Zoom out to see all locations and click the red pins for site summary.
More to come; grab your shovels, saplings, whips and wellies, this is just the beginning …
370 trees on land adjacent to the Plotgate scheme in Barton St David. 100 trees (in 11 varieties) provided by RTL and 270 trees in 11 native varieties provided by eforests, along with stakes and guards. TA11 6AT
Baltonsborough Community Orchard
Orchard of 23 apple and pear trees in variety. 30 children involved in school planting of named varieties mirroring their classroom names. BA6 8PX
Plotgate and Framboise Orchard
Plotgate. (a) Mixed linear woodland of 300 whips and (b) a shelterbelt planting of 120 whips.0ver 30 volunteers involved in two separate days of planting. TA11 6AT
Framboise Orchard. 370 trees on land adjacent to the Plotgate scheme in Barton St David. 100 trees (in 11 varieties) provided by RTL and 270 trees in 11 native varieties provided by eforests, along with stakes and guards. TA11 6AT
Avenue of 34 Tilia Cordata on a mix of publicly owned land (playing fields) and privately owned land. BS28 4BS
A woodland has been planned in the village of Monckton Heathfield just outside Taunton to commemorate those men from Somerset who died in the First World War. Over the next few years 11,000 trees will be planted. Reimagining the Levels is offering volunteer labour to help with this and has contributed to one planting session so far, at the end of January 2019. TA2 8QJ
Baybrook Farm Godney
A mixed woodland of 70 trees in land by the river Sheppey. 14 standard sized trees and 56 whips in mixed native varieties. BA5 1RZ