More trees needed in Hebden Bridge to help tackle flooding

Picture by Treesponsibility
Picture by Treesponsibility

Hebden Bridge has been named among the frontline communities demonstrating the need for more tree cover.

The town was selected as one of the areas in need of trees by the Friends of the Earth group.

Treesponsibility, a climate action group working in Hebden Bridge and the wider Calderdale area, is trying to remedy this situation.

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It uses tree planting as a practical way to fight the immediate impacts of climate.

Since it was founded in 1998 the group has planted over 250,000 trees across Calderdale. Pilot schemes of planting trees as flood defences have shown that peak water levels can be reduced by six per cent and even as high as 25 per cent.

Treesponsibility co-ordinator Dongria Khond said: “Well thought out tree planting has huge benefits to the local area and, if done on a large scale, the whole planet.

Politicians and big businesses really need to step up to reduce carbon emissions in the first place but while they dawdle around the issue we’ve been planting trees to ward off floods, absorb carbon and clean up the local air.

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“We’d love to see more tree planting schemes up and down the nation, but these need to be well planned to get the best results and adequately funded to cover maintenance costs.

“We’ve sometimes found that grants such as Countryside Steward Payments have been insufficient so we’d really like to see more financial support for tree planting at a local level.”

Emi Murphy, trees campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Trees do an amazing job of removing climate-wrecking carbon from the atmosphere which is why we need to double tree cover to help the fight against climate chaos.

“Having more trees will also protect local communities from the climate breakdown that we’re already seeing across the UK; from heatwaves to flooding.

"Government targets for tree planting are nowhere near what we need, and ministers such as Chris Grayling have been far too willing to push through damaging infrastructure projects which result in yet more trees being felled.”

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