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THE Green Party has called for a major tree-planting project to stop flooding in the aftermath of the Whaley Bridge dam crisis.
Deputy leader Amelia Womack wrote in The Ecologist yesterday: “It often takes a disaster or a near miss before we change the way we do things as a society.”
The Derbyshire dam was damaged by heavy rain and almost collapsed earlier this month, causing more than 1,000 local residents to be evacuated.
“When this particular dam was built in 1841 it was a time when we were obsessed with controlling water, putting it behind walls and in pipes,” Ms Womack commented.
“Since then we have seen a continual loss of trees which soak up water, and the concreting of our habitats which makes water flow more quickly and causes floods.”
She called for planting more trees and reintroducing forests to slow the flow of rainwater into urban areas.
“The fact that developers are proposing concreting more of Whaley Bridge for housing implies we may not have learned our lessons yet,” she warned.
“The way we build homes needs to change to ensure water routes are taken into account.
“The building of vast concrete structures such as motorways and airports needs to be urgently curtailed due to the destruction they cause, and the fact they promote carbon-intensive activity feeding into climate change.
“Our mountains and hills need reforestation on a major scale and finally we need to ensure we think of this in terms of changes to our economic system, which currently prioritises destruction over sustainability and quality of life.”
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