NI Water’s ambition, to plant over 1 million trees over the next 10 years, is underway. As the second biggest landowner in Northern Ireland, NI Water is delivering a large-scale planting programme across 11,300 hectares of land. Planting trees improves water quality, captures carbon, mitigate floods and enhances the natural environment.
Over the last decade, NI Water has planted over 150,000 trees in some of our 24 drinking water catchments in Counties Antrim and Armagh. Trees planted close to river banks help prevent bankside erosion; as much of the water used for our drinking water comes from our rivers and lakes, trees act as a natural buffer.
NI Water’s Director of Business Services, Alistair Jinks says “Using NI Water land to plant trees, offsets the carbon emissions from NI Water’s electricity consumption. Trees being planted near our rivers and streams, helps reduce the effect of climate change by capturing carbon and slowing river flow. Tree roots also act as a natural water filter.
“The first phase of tree-planting will begin in January 2021, and continue until March, with approximately 40,000 trees being planted at NI Water sites at Dunore in County Antrim and Fofanny in County Down. There are plans in place for a further approximately 222,000 trees to be planted in Phase 2, subject to funding approval, by March 2022.”