United Utilities is planting trees and restoring blanket bog to help combat climate change

Regional water firm, United Utilities, has planted 10,000 trees around its treatment works in Kinder, Derbyshire.

It’s another step toward the company’s goal of planting one million trees on its estates by 2030.

It has also recently completed significant sphagnum moss planting in the Goyt Valley as part of an ongoing conservation programme there which is linked to its 1000 hectare peatland restoration target.

Kinder water treatment works in Hayfield, Derbyshire is near Kinder Reservoir and famous beauty spot, Kinder Scout. The trees being planted are all native broadleaf varieties, such as oak, silver birch and rowan, which will help improve the landscape and biodiversity in the area.

In the Goyt Valley, the company is restoring and enhancing priority habitats with particular emphasis on blanket bog vegetation communities. The restoration of these habitats will support the populations of important moorland bird species, including merlin, golden plover and short-eared owl. Sphagnum planting will help to increase the biodiversity of vegetation and will also contribute to improving water quality. Sphagnum also helps the peat retain more water on the moorland, which in the long term will help with flood management.

Ross Evans, United Utilities’ estates and land manager, said: “This is one of a host of formal tree planting schemes we’re carrying out across the region which follow on from the success of the  pilot nursery project in Rivington, Lancashire in October 2020, where we planted 20,000 acorns all collected from local oak trees. 

“Both the woodland and peat restoration projects are all part of our plans to be net zero carbon from the end of this decade.”

Already up to 25 per cent of the electricity used by United Utilities is generated on its own sites through renewable schemes such as solar farms, wind turbines and the production of biomethane from sewage treatment. 

By 2028 all United Utilities’ 1,600 vehicles will run on electricity or alternative fuels such as hydrogen or biodiesel.

And by 2030 the company has pledged to improve its land holdings by planting more than one million new trees (creating 550ha of woodland) and restoring 1,000 hectares of internationally important peat bog.