Woodland Trust wins £60,000 RBC grant for water project

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has awarded conservation charity Woodland Trust £60,000 to help it increase awareness of the role trees play in managing water and flood management.

Set up in 2007, the Blue Water Project Grant is a 10-year $50m commitment which offers funds for organisations that protect water sources and ensure access to clean drinking water worldwide.

According to the Woodland Trust, the grant will enable it to boost the progression of trees and water-based projects and the production of policy and information for farmers and businesses and households living in urban areas.

For businesses and households, the Trust says it aims to raise awareness of the importance of reducing surface water runoff in the control of localised flooding and water treatment costs, as well as emphasising the role of native tree planting and green space in absorbing rainfall in urban areas.

Meanwhile, for farmers, farm managers and advisors, the Trust plans to provide information on the importance of land use practices in improving water quality and reducing flood risk, as it says runoff from farmland is often implicated in sedimentation and pollution of watercourses. This it warns can lead to downstream water treatment costs and damage to the local environment.

Woodland Trust senior conservation advisor, Mike Townsend, said: “This grant from the RBC Blue Water Project will make a real difference to raising awareness of the role played by trees in water management. The benefits of trees and woods are widely understood by academics and specialists in some disciplines.

“The Trust wants to translate the results of research into accessible formats that will help the public to understand the issues surrounding trees and water and inspire people to act.

“As the effects of climate change begin to be felt in the UK, a top priority is ensuring that trees play their full part in protecting and improving water quality and reducing the risk of flooding.”

RBC wealth management head for the UK Mike Moodie, said: “Since we launched the RBC Blue Water Project in 2007, we have had the privilege to support over 450 organisations around the world that care about protecting and preserving water. RBC is delighted to assist the important work of the Woodland Trust with the award of this grant and is proud to add it to our growing network.”

Carys Matthews

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