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Can trees help to prevent flooding?

The Woodland Trust say we need to plant more trees Credit: PA

According to a charity, trees might be the best way to help combat climate change and the flooding that comes with it.

The Woodland Trust say we need to plant more trees. In 2012 they planted 300,000 trees, and they say this will have helped by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and soaking up water.

The Midlands has faced terrible flooding in the past few weeks, and the charity says that trees could make the risk of flooding smaller in the future.

This comes as one in five people in the Midlands say they've already been personally affected by climate change.

60%
say that while they haven't been affected by climate change yet, they expect to be in the future.
One in five people in the Midlands say they've already been personally affected by climate change. Credit: Des Gardner

The charity say that trees won't replace man-made flood defences, like flood walls and temporary structures but they are a sustainable and low maintenance way to make the risk of flooding smaller.

They add that trees can reduce pressure on our drainage systems and lower the risk of surface water flooding.

3.8 million homes in England are at risk of surface water flooding.

80%
The amount that trees can reportedly reduce the runoff of surface water by, compared to asphalt.
The charity says that trees can lower the risk of surface water flooding. Credit: Julie Carlton

The Woodland Trust say the country can expect more frequent 'extreme' weather events in the future - including more frequent flooding.

"Trees and green space should be at the heart of flood risk and climate adaptation strategies. Trees planted in the right places can do much to help with flooding before it happens."

– Lord De Mauley, former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for natural environment and science
In 2012 The Woodland Trust planted 300,000 trees Credit: Paul Wilde

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