Woodland for Water Scheme

This document explores how new native woodland and undisturbed water setbacks can be used in combination to deliver meaningful ecosystem services that protect and enhance water quality and aquatic ecosystems. This ‘Woodland for Water’ measure can be realised using the existing Native Woodland Establishment Scheme (NWS Establishment), available from the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine (DAFM).


This measure can be used alongside streams, rivers and lakes to form permanent semi-natural landscape features that will protect and enhance water quality and aquatic habitats into the future. Where basic site requirements are met, the DAFM perceives widespread potential for this measure, from upper to lower catchments and in relation to various land uses.


The Woodland for Water measure operates alongside other water protection measures applied by the DAFM throughout its regulatory and promotional role, as part of its responsibilities under the second cycle of the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

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