Christmas trees used as flood protection

Unused Christmas trees are getting a new lease of life – as river bank protection in rural areas of Cumbria. The tree trunks donated by the Forestry Commission are used […]

By Vicky Ellis

Unused Christmas trees are getting a new lease of life – as river bank protection in rural areas of Cumbria.

The tree trunks donated by the Forestry Commission are used to bolster flood defences by the Environment Agency (pictured).

Large spruce logs are secured at the base of eroding river banks and the Christmas trees are attached to them.

The tree trunks stabilise the river bank while the conifers act as a filter and catch silt from the water. The agency said the “soft engineering” is cheaper than using manmade alternatives such as steel baskets filled with stone, known as gabions.

With less sediment dislodging, this also stops fish eggs being smothered, according to the Environment Agency.

Fisheries Officer Mike Farrell said: “This is the ultimate green gift for people and wildlife living along our rivers. Homes are being protected from flooding whilst new habitats are being created for mammals, fish and invertebrates.”