Avon Needs Trees aims to buy and reforest land throughout the Bristol-Avon catchment area

Avon Needs Trees is a registered charity (No. 1184386) based in Bristol that is buying land in the Bristol-Avon Catchment Area for reforesting.

Planting trees will sequester carbon from the air, enhance bio-diversity and give us natural flood management, as well as water and air quality improvement, and more public amenity space.

Beginning its life as an idea thought up by Bristol-based writer and activist on energy and climate change Nikki Jones, ANTs now has a fantastic board of trustees who bring invaluable experience. We are now barrelling ahead with our first project.

We are supported by The Environment Agency, The Woodland Trust, The Bristol-Avon Rivers Trust, the local Wildlife Trust and the local Friends of the Earth groups.

Our Chair Nikki Jones gives a 5 minute introduction to ANTs to members of Bristol Inclusive Design & Development in December 2019.

Why Reforest?

Almost all of Avon’s woodland has disappeared over the last few centuries. This is disastrous for many reasons but perhaps most pressingly because trees are essential for tackling climate change. Trees take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and protect the valuable soil beneath. By growing thousands of new trees we can take a significant step in the battle against a climate disaster.

Reforesting Avon has multiple other benefits. It will provide natural flood management which is much more cost-effective than engineered flood defences. All of the towns and cities in the area, including Chippenham, Bath, Bradford-on-Avon and Bristol are greatly at risk of flooding, particularly as climate change advances.

Careful planting will also help enhance biodiversity and protect our water quality by reducing nitrogen runoff. In addition, land acquired will have open access to the public, providing valuable public space.

We believe buying the land is a much better way to get things done. Asking landowners to voluntarily make these changes does not provide long term, guaranteed results.

First Purchase

We have an agreement in place for our first purchase – 34 beautiful acres at Hazeland between Chippenham and Calne. Hazeland is a fragment of the ancient forest of Pewsham and crucially the land is close to Spye Park on the Bowood Estate. Spye Park is an important site for breeding woodland birds such as the buzzard, redstart, nightingale and tree pipet. Buying Hazeland gives us the opportunity to offer new and improved habitat to these endangered birds – as well as to several species of protected bat and woodland butterfly.

Planting more trees in the River Avon high catchment area, of which Hazeland is a part, not only helps protect nearby towns from flooding but will also help stop excess water entering our rivers, thus protecting towns and cities further downstream – it’s the most effective place to plant.

We Need Your Help

This is such a fantastic opportunity but we can’t do it without your help. Please head over to our donate page to read more about what makes this land so special and to donate. Thank you for all of your support and for sharing our page.

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Avon Needs Trees is delighted to be hosting two events with economist and author Chris Goodall. The first will be in Bristol at the Wills Memorial Building on March 30th, and the second will be at Chippenham Town Hall on March 31st. Chris will be discussing his new book – What We Need To Do … Continue reading Chris Goodall on What We Need To Do Now in Bristol and Chippenham

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We are delighted to formally announce that Water and Environmental Management lecturer at Bristol University Dr Claire Gronow and Bristol-based land-owner and experienced tree planter Gavin Spittlehouse have agreed to join our committee as permanent members. They both bring invaluable knowledge and experience and we’re delighted to have them on board!

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