Woodlands have an enormous role to play in helping to reduce flooding and improve water quality. Water absorption into the sol can be up to 60 times faster under woodland than grassland. Woodlands also act as a sponge, both of these effects reduce surface run off and allow for a slower, long term release of water into the river systems.
There are many environmentally friendly green engineering techniques that can be used to prevent or mitigate flooding and soil erosion. Log-jams protect the river bank and slow the water flow and allow the banks to re-establish but require experienced contractors. Woven willow spiling is a simpler technique that many farmers could do themselves, possibly using locally grown materials. This creates a living bank that will grow and root into the soil.
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