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.