Re-foresting London upper river catchments

Meeting: 
MQT on 2016-01-20
Session date: 
January 20, 2016
Reference: 
2016/0064
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
Organisation: 
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

In light of this winter's floods and the growing consensus for re-forestation and 're-wilding' of upper river catchments to reduce downstream flood risk, will the Mayor as part of his climate adaptation responsibilities, consider applying a similar strategic approach for each of London's thirteen river catchments, identifying suitable upper river catchment locations for mass tree planting and other measures to hold back and slow rainfall discharge?

Answer

Answer for Re-foresting London upper river catchments

Answer for Re-foresting London upper river catchments

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Making the upper areas of river catchments more able to store, infiltrate and absorb rainwater is a sensible flood risk management strategy.  This is as applicable in London as it is to the rest of the country.

Re-forestation is one, but not the only potential intervention.  We have seen the creation of "leaky dams", increased flood plains, wetland scrapes and marshland all of which are able to assist with flood risk management and which have other benefits.

The London Rivers Action Plan already contains a range of completed and potential river restoration projects and of course my London Plan actively promotes sustainable river management and de-culverting of watercourses.

This works needs more activity, especially in light of increasing storms and we must also remember that the upper areas of several of London's tributaries are in the adjoining counties and we must work with them to support similar action.