Businesswoman and environmentalist buys land to help combat flooding

A Cumbrian woman has bought 120 acres of land in plots around west Cumbria in order to do her bit to tackle flooding and climate change

Sally Phillips has used profits from her eco-friendly business to purchase the land which she is re-wilding alongside her partner Darren Ward.

The couple are both environmentalists and in their spare time are planting trees in order to create a more natural habitat for wildlife and slow the flow of water from their land during heavy rain.

Recently the Government announced nearly £4 million would be spent on tree-planting in towns and along rivers to reduce the risk of flooding and tackle climate change.

Credit: ITV News

Sally said: "What we are doing is minuscule in the scheme of things but if everyone could plant trees as best they can then it all helps.

"I'm lucky that I've got a business, called Chimney Sheep in Maryport, that generates an income that allows me to buy land, but it's rewarding to feel like I'm taking action myself to do something about local flooding and the climate catastrophe." 

Darren's Cockermouth home has been flooded twice and he demonstrated how they're already seeing the effects of letting the land grow wild.

On the land is a ditch and they'd been heavy rain when we visited but he told us: "the ditch is flowing at normal capacity and is running clear which indicates the ground around it is absorbing it slowly before releasing it into the ditch." 

Currently there are around 3000 trees planted in one field and some were donated by local people but there are plans to plant tens of thousands on the land which is agriculturally unproductive.  

The land is registered as a Community Interest Company called Buy Land Plant Trees CIC.