Bassenthwaite Tree Planting
School children from the Bassenthwaite School helped to plant trees to support habitat restoration work that is happening in their community.

A group of green minded pupils from The Bassenthwaite School, joined volunteers from the West Cumberland Rivers Trust, Derwent Owners Association and the Lake District National Park on a habitat restoration partnership project that is being led by The Environment Agency.

A variation of species were planted and the trees were donated by The Woodland Trust.

The work that is taking place is linked to a trial project launched in Cumbria last Christmas, to use unwanted Christmas trees to protect people and properties from flood.

The trees protect river banks from erosion and the planting in Bassenthwaite will be adding to this layer of defence by their roots holding the banking together and consolidating the erosion control work that has already taken place locally.

The newly planted trees will also help to mitigate the effects of climate change as when grown they will provide a dappled shade over the water that will prevent it from heating-up and adversely affecting the habitat of salmon and trout that need cool water temperatures to survive.

Mike Farrell, Fisheries Officer at the Environment Agency, said: “It is great that the school children will get a chance to see how we can use natural materials to protect wildlife and homes in Chapel Beck.

“They will learn how the location of the trees can limit the effects of climate change that poses a threat to natural habitats and riverbanks that protect homes from flood.”

Christmas Trees have been used to reduce erosion and create the perfect habitat for fish in Cumbria since 2009. The tree trunks stabilise the river bank whilst the conifers act as a filter and catch silt from the water. This removes sediment which would otherwise smother fish eggs, preventing them from hatching.

The tree trunks have been used as a ‘softer’ and greener alternative to using heavier engineering materials such as steel piling. Not only is this method more sustainable but it could also save tens of thousands of pounds.
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