Press release from the Environment Agency
Two native Hornbeam trees have been planted on the riverside in Kendal as part of the new £76million Flood Risk Management Scheme.
The Hornbeams planted mark the start of the Environment Agency’s commitment to plant over 3600 new trees, to undertake riverside landscaping improvements and develop 55 hectares of environment and habitat enhancements creating a diverse habitat for wildlife and improved access for the community.
Work on phase one of the new scheme started on 15 February and has been designed together with local residents, local businesses, South Lakeland District Council, Cumbria County Council, Kendal Town Council and United Utilities.
When complete, the three phased scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to 1,480 homes and 1,100 local businesses across the River Kent catchment.
Stewart Mounsey for the Environment Agency said:
“We are pleased to have completed the planting of two native Hornbeams in Kendal. The Hornbeams planted mark the start of our commitment to plant of over 3600 new trees, to undertake riverside landscaping improvements and develop 55 hectares of environment and habitat enhancements creating a diverse habitat for wildlife and improved access for the community.
“As a consequence of building a scheme in a riverside location, there will be losses to some of the riverside trees but plans to replant a range of species, taking a right tree, right place approach will create a habitat rich river corridor through the town and improve access for the community.
“We understand there are sensitivities around the tree removal which will need to take place in areas throughout Kendal. No trees will be felled in the first areas of scheme construction and we will ensure that there is sufficient habitat in place for the bird and bat population in Kendal ahead of any felling, with 64 bird and bat boxes already installed as additional habitat.
“Throughout construction, the Environment Agency and our contractors, Volker Stevin, will work in line with all current Government guidance to keep everyone safe and we are committed to keeping the local community informed of progress by providing updates on The Flood Hub website.
“We are also continuing with our detailed design work for the other phases of the Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme which, when complete, will reduce the risk of flooding to 1,480 homes and 1,100 local businesses across the catchment. Whilst we cannot prevent flooding altogether, the new flood risk management scheme will go a long way in providing flood protection to the residents and business of Kendal.”
Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader of South Lakeland District Council, said:
“Through our planning process we have made sure that the flood defence scheme meets the highest standards in terms of its contribution to habitat and biodiversity improvements.
“We have secured a significant tree replacement ratio that will see at least 3,600 new trees planted to replace those that will need to be removed and have insisted that those replacement trees are appropriate for the area and will ultimately improve the tree species and biodiversity mix in the town, creating an improved habitat for future generations to enjoy.
“The mature hornbeams that have been planted near the parish church are in keeping with the historic planting along the riverside and mark the start of that contribution to improvements to 55 hectares of habitat and recreational space for the whole community being delivered as part of this scheme.’’