Environmental regeneration initiative Red Rose Forest and Viridor have combined forces yet again to deliver an innovative tree planting project in Manchester to demonstrate how trees can reduce urban flooding.
Red Rose Forest organised the tree planting project on Chepstow Street in the city centre using state of the art techniques including permavoid load bearing rafts and a connected planting trench overlain with permeable block paving. This groundbreaking system maximises the amount of rainwater and oxygen reaching the roots below which will help to create the type of growing conditions needed for sustainable tree growth whilst reducing the amount of rainwater running off the pavement and onto the streets.
City centres are becoming increasingly vulnerable to flash flooding because of the increase in rainfall associated with climate change and the significant amounts of impermeable surfaces which do not allow rainwater to filter into the ground below. This type of flooding will become much more frequent so increasing the amount of permeable space is one way that we can help to address this.
Red Rose Forest Special Projects Manager, Pete Stringer, explains: “The great thing about this system is it’s good for urban environments - because it can help reduce the risk of flooding - and it’s good for the trees. The permavoid raft system is filled with high nutrient organic matter which acts as a slow release feed for the tree as rain water filters through. Water doesn’t run off into the drains but is drawn down into the ground to where the tree needs it. The permavoid paving also ensures the roots don’t come up through the pavement thus preventing damage to the street environment.”
Patrick Killeen, Viridor Operations Manager said: “This is an incredibly innovative way of planting street trees which has the potential to transform the way projects like this are delivered. Viridor is delighted to have been able to support Red Rose Forest turn its vision into reality. Street trees play a vital role in improving our urban landscapes and this new technique means we can further maximise the benefits they bring.”
Funding for this project has been provided by Viridor, Manchester City Council and European INTERREG IVB as part of the VALUE project.
Tony Hothersall, Red Rose Forest director, said: “This is a landmark project for Red Rose Forest which will leave a green legacy in Manchester City Centre for many years to come.
We’d like to say a big thank you to our partner Viridor for their help and support in making this happen. We wouldn’t have been able to include this innovative element in the project without them. It demonstrates Viridor’s commitment to improving the environment in the areas it operates.”