Reimagining The Levels

Think global. Act local.

Get ready for autumn 2021 tree planting season!

Reimagining the Levels had an extraordinary successful planting season in 2020/21 despite the pandemic. Approximately 20,000 trees and shrubs that included almost 1 mile of hedgerow were planted in the Somerset landscape.   This season we hope to double this and we need YOUR HELP.

Once again, we are partnering with Somerset Rivers Authority, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South West (FWAG SW) and the Woodland Trust to ‘Plant Trees to Slow the Flow’ to counteract the damaging effects of sudden and prolonged flooding. Water management schemes include tree and hedgerow planting that allow heavy rainfall to percolate through the soil into the aquifers rather than overwhelming streams and rivers. It is a way of working with nature to alleviate flood risk. Reimagining the Levels are mindful of the need to protect already diversity-rich landscapes from unnecessary disturbance and each potential site will be carefully screened to understand its ecology.

Applicants are welcomed from the whole of Somerset and will be assessed on their proximity to watercourses. This is a process led by water pathway mapping, and if successful Reimagining the Levels will offer advice on appropriate planting for the landscape, supply trees, supports and protections along with a small payment for every tree planted.

Reimagining the Levels is also interested in supporting other tree planting schemes, particularly community plantings in schools, recreation grounds, village halls etc., that are not linked to water management.

The UK has the lowest woodland cover in Europe and Somerset has the fewest trees of any county, so we do need to do more. Somerset has a high density of ash trees, meaning the impact from Ash Dieback will be highly significant, with big changes to our landscape.

As well as soaking up rain, trees provide shade and shelter for crops and livestock from unseasonable heat, are also effective at carbon capture, purify the air, provide important habitat, enrich and stabilise the soil, provide timber, food, and importantly increase our mental well-being. In order to survive, this planet needs more trees. So please, if you know of a plot of land that could benefit from tree planting, get in touch.

Contact Kate Towers:
Katetowers.rtl-at-gmail.com (remember to change the ‘-at-‘ to ‘@’)
07872-664-five-four-three

Or use the form below:

 

THE QUEEN’S GREEN CANOPY

Reimagining the Levels has been contacted by the Somerset Organisers of this project and asked if we could identify ways to support it.

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, a tree planting initiative is being planned for the planting season of 2021-2022.

The Queen’s Green Canopy will create a network of individual trees, avenues, copses and whole woodlands in honour of The Queen’s service and the legacy she has built.

This will create a green legacy of its own, with every tree planted bringing benefits for people, wildlife and climate, now and for the future. As well as encouraging the planting of new trees, the project will also help to protect Ancient Woodland through identifying 70 individual ancient trees.

We think it’s a great idea and would urge Community Groups, neighbourhood forums or individual landowners to get involved.

If you would like to be part of this, there is advice and further information on the official website www.queensgreencanopy.org or you can contact us.

There is planned a Queen’s Green Canopy interactive national map where your trees will be shown and you can also order an official plaque to commemorate your plantings.

Tree Planting case studies

Four Reimagining the Levels posters (pdf) – Wedmore, B’boro, Godney, Barton.

Conference Report

August 2019 Tree Conference event.

A5 fliers for DOWNLOAD

 TREES FOR WATER

TREE PLANTING VOLUNTEERS

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.

For guidance:

£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!

Somerset Community FoundationDonate now

https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/10704#/DonationDetails

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.

Climate Change

The large-scale, long-term shift in the planet’s weather patterns, or average temperatures that the world’s scientists …

Flooding

Severe 1-in-100 years events are likely to become twice as frequent by the 2050s. Sights like this will be commonplace …

Food

With low population density, the Somerset Levels and Catchment is theoretically self-sufficient in many types of food and drink …

Soil and farming

Significant areas of peat soils act as a store of organic carbon while farmland soils absorb rainfall and reduce the risk of flooding …

Nature and Wildlife

The Somerset Levels and Catchment as a whole boasts one of the largest and biologically richest areas found anywhere in the UK.

Trees & Woodland

Woodland cover over the Somerset Levels and Catchment is low – at 6% compared to 10% for England and many of the smaller woodlands …

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 …

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

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

Wedmore

Avenue of 34 Tilia Cordata on a mix of publicly owned land (playing fields) and privately owned land. BS28 4BS

Somerset Wood

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

Goarway Wood, Yarley Hill, Nr Wells. BA5 1PA

Myrtle Farm, BS29 6LP

Sparkford, BA22 7HY

Stathe, Nr Bridgwater, TA7 0JL

Dove Studies, Butleigh, BA6 8TL