Teaming up to stop coastal erosion

THE Herts Advertiser has teamed up with a new project to stop coastal erosion which readers can support straight from their own back garden.

St Albans-based business the FREdome Visionary Trust is encouraging people to pick up seeds they find such as acorns, seeds or nuts and nurturing them to saplings in a plastic carrier bag.

After a couple of years the saplings will be ready to be taken to the seaside to create a “bioshield” to protect the coast.

In turn this also helps convert carbon emissions and waste into food and fuel, tackle the drought cycle and protect low-lying agricultural land prone to flooding and salt poisoning.

Greg Peachey, chair of the trust, said: “Self-seeded trees in parks tend to be mowed down, while those in woodland fail to thrive under the shade of the canopy. So the saplings that people nurture and save would not otherwise exist.

“Trees are needed for oxygen, for their produce, as a wildlife habitat, for local environmental beauty, and for a host of other reasons.”

In some areas of the UK, such as Happisburgh in East Anglia, the coast is receding by a massive 12 metres a year and many believe we are without a solution.

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However in New Zealand communities have planted vegetation on all types of coastal terrain similar to those in the UK which resulted in coastline rising and extending out to sea rather than eroding.

“Leading from St Albans we want to spread the optimistic message that the key to both our future economy and environment simply lies in the community helping restore the natural processes that turn out waste products back into the things we are running short of, such as food and fuel.”

The answer to coastal erosion is closer than we think and as Greg explained “it all starts with the little seeds that people will collect.”

Herts Ad editor Matt Adams added: “This is such an easy thing for people to do, but could have huge benefits to our coastline, and I’d urge all our readers to take part.”

How can you help?

1. When out walking pick up acorns, nuts, berries fruits and other tree seeds you find on the ground or ripened on lower branches.

2. Take them home and nurture them in plastic carrier bags of soil in you gardens.

3. A huge virtual forest will be ready to transport to the coastline once the saplings have grown.