What is Avon Needs Trees?
Avon Needs Trees is a new charity (in the process of registration) that aims to buy land throughout the Bristol - Avon catchment area and reforest it. We are supported by The Environment Agency, The Woodland Trust, The Bristol-Avon Rivers Trust, the local Wildlife Trust and the local Friends of the Earth groups.
Almost all of Avon's woodland has disappeared over the last few centuries. This is disastrous for many reasons but perhaps most pressingly because trees are essential for tackling climate change. Trees take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and protect the valuable soil beneath. By growing thousands of new trees we can take a significant step in the battle against a climate disaster.
Reforesting Avon has multiple other benefits. It will provide natural flood management which is much more cost-effective than engineered flood defences. All of the towns and cities in the area, including Chippenham, Bath, Bradford-on-Avon and Bristol are greatly at risk of flooding, particularly as climate change advances. Careful planting will also help enhance bio-diversity and protect our water quality by reducing nitrogen run off. In addition, land acquired will have open access to the public, providing valuable public space.
We believe buying the land is a much better way to get things done. Asking land owners to voluntarily make these changes does not provide long term, guaranteed results.
Our First Purchase: Hazeland
We have had a bid accepted on a beautiful 34 acres in the Marden Valley between Chippenham and Calne called Hazeland. Both of these towns have been hit by floods in recent years and planting in the high catchment area helps protect all the other towns and cities downstream. This makes a perfect first purchase.
Within Hazeland there exists approximately 10 acres of ancient woodland which needs protection. We are likely to lose all the Ash trees which make up a big percentage of the wood in the next few years, due to Ash Die Back. There are also two enormous pastures in which we plan to plant trees, while allowing space for glades and biodiversity improvement. We will need to conduct an ecological survey to determine the balance. Buying and protecting this land will also help protect the river Marden which runs alongside it, and which currently fails water quality tests for nitrates and phosphates.
What We Need Now
Now that we have reached an agreement with the current landowner we need an ecological survey to determine how best to plant in order to achieve our objectives. The money we are asking for will pay for the survey and also the legal fees we will incur from buying the land. It will also allow us to develop our wider fundraising strategy. We have no staff costs - admin costs will be kept to an absolute minimum. Any money we raise above this crowdfunder target will go towards purchasing the land.
Thank you so much for your support!