Climate change demands new thinking. Nature based solutions – such as the restoration of natural habitats like rivers, forests, wetlands, marshes and the reinstatement of ecological processes like natural succession are one of the most important tools we have to mitigate and adapt to catastrophic climate change
We will champion natural flood management processes in the headwaters of the rivers Brue, Cale, Frome, Stour and Wylye to slow the flow of waters and reduce the volumes of soils carried downstream as silt to the Severn Estuary and the Dorset and Hampshire coast, alleviating flooding in these areas.
We will encourage a shift from carbon intensive farming to regenerative agriculture, through rewilding, reviving habitats, and restoring the natural balance of rivers to capture carbon and slow climate change.
We will promote a regenerative forest economy to benefit local communities, enhance social and cultural wellbeing and welcome visitors to it
Woodlands, Soils and Wetlands
Much of our land would naturally support trees that absorb carbon — but at 13% the UK has some of the lowest tree cover in Europe.
For every hectare, woodland can absorb an average equivalent of around 12.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Soil is a fantastic sink for carbon. In the EU, roughly 75 billion tonnes of carbon is stored in the soil. To put this into context, the total carbon emissions of the EU in 2006 totalled 1.5 billion tonnes. It’s clear that soil provides a fantastic avenue for the mitigation of climate change.
When carbon is assimilated into the soil, it doesn’t stay there forever. Carbon can be lost from the soil through natural and anthropogenic processes. Land management can play a huge role in this; farming systems, nitrogen availability and cropping practices can all impact carbon loss. Our local Trusts help farmers to nurture healthy soil. They promote practice which enhances soil carbon sequestration and prevents the loss of soil carbon.
Wetland creation and river restoration
Mosaics of ponds, fenland and lakes can support so much wildlife, and store carbon. The return of beavers could bring back additional benefits.
For every hectare, wetlands can absorb an average equivalent of around 5.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.