Climate change: Thousands of trees planted to reduce flood risk in Leeds

The project aims to store and slow the flow of flood water after heavy rain, create new habitats and store carbon, making the city more resilient to climate change

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A total of 5,000 trees have been planted at the Brownlee Triathlon Centre in Leeds to help reduce the risk of floods and mitigate climate change.

The project, which is a collaboration between the Environment Agency, Leeds City Council, the University of Leeds and the River Stewardship Company, aims to store and slow the flow of flood water after heavy rain, create new habitats and store carbon, making the city more resilient to climate change.

It has been delivered as part of phase two of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, which seeks to reduce flood risk to 1,048 homes, 474 businesses and key infrastructure along a 14km stretch of the River Aire upstream of Leeds train station.

Students from the University of Leeds will study the effects the trees have on the depth and speed of flood water to inform similar projects in the future.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate said: “This is an excellent example of the types of natural techniques being used across the River Aire catchment to build the city’s resilience to climate change.

“The wider natural flood management programme, which is a key part of the next phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, will significantly reduce flood risk to previously affected residents and businesses downstream in Leeds, whilst also bringing other benefits such as capturing carbon and habitat creation.”

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