Mobilising funds for multiple benefits and ecosystem services: Riparian tree planting 


The creation of woodland, specifically riparian woodland, and associated activities is a mitigation option that has the potential to deliver multiple benefits to the environment.  Woodland creation changes the local environment – the trees shade the river channel, improve the soil hydrology (increasing the water infiltration rates) and surface hydrological behaviour (increasing the surface roughness).  These changes have the effect of disconnecting the wider landscape from the river channel and hence decrease the input of sediment, floodwaters and pathogens to the freshwater system.  Additionally, these woodlands effectively exclude livestock from the channels, and hence reduce the direct input of faecal matter into watercourses

What we are doing

The Ribble Rivers Trust in conjunction with Durham University has devised a tool for prioritising woodland creation for multiple water benefits – the outputs from the model help visualise priorities.

In the Ribble Catchment, the tool has enabled Ribble Rivers Trust to identify 50m to 100m priority lengths of river that were riparian woodlands were created, they should provide the greatest benefit for the catchment.

Through Natural Course, the Ribble Rivers Trust will be planting 10 riparian woodlands which will include 6400 trees in highly targeted areas which will provide multiple benefits.

Who else is involved?

Environment Agency, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, Forest of Bowland AONB, RSPB, Forestry Commission, Landowners, Pendle Borough Council, Woodland Trust, Angling Clubs, volunteers

Project location

Ribble Catchment, Lancashire

Latest Update

Tree planting started in November 2019.

The teams are working on 6 woodlands, and have planted 4837 trees (covering 4.19 hectares)