The tree project that could stop Somerset communities from flooding

The trees will be planted across the county to help reduce flooding. Credit: ITV News

Somerset is to get close to 30,000 new trees next year to reduce flood risk and improve river quality.

The initiative forms part of a £1.4million Environment Agency fund from which the county will receive a share worth £95,000.

More than 24,000 of the trees will be planted across eight sites in South Somerset, with the rest in Taunton Deane and Mendip.

The trees will be supplied free to landowners, who will be paid to plant them.

Trees can play a valuable role in reducing the risk if flooding in communities. Credit: ITV News

According to the Environment Agency, planting trees can play a valuable role in reducing flood risk as it trees slow the flow of water to nearby communities.

Trees planted near watercourses can also act as a buffer for agricultural pollution and improve water quality.

Chair of the Environment Agency Emma Howard Boyd said the project will "improve the nation’s resilience to the impacts of climate change".

She said the trees will reduce flood risk, protect homes, capture carbon and improve water quality.

The Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith added: "We are going to have to break down the barriers to planting trees outside of woodlands if we are to deliver our ambitious tree planting commitments.

"Trees are the backbone of our urban and rural environments, and increasing planting is an effective way both to tackle climate change and stem the appalling collapse of biodiversity."

Read more: