About the Organisation
Avon Needs Trees (“ANT”) is a registered charity based in Bristol focused on acquiring land in the Bristol Avon Catchment area to permanently reforest and rewild.
The charity wants to reforest the catchment with many thousands of new trees, for a number of reasons:
- To sequester carbon from the air, contributing to the fight against climate change.
- To provide (cost-effective) natural flood management. Many of the towns and cities in the area, including Chippenham, Bath, Bradford-on-Avon, and Bristol are at risk of flooding, particularly as climate change advances.
- To help enhance biodiversity and protect water quality by reducing nitrogen runoff.
- Provide valuable additional public space, open to everyone.
Avon Needs Trees has ambitious growth plans and wishes to acquire and reforest additional sites.
They acquire land (2 significant sites secured, with others in the pipeline), rather than just advocating reforestation and rewilding to other landowners, in order to ensure that changes are permanent.
The Local Authority have approached Avon Needs Trees with an offer from a local developer, to transfer ownership of an ancient woodland to them, as part of part of Section 106 arrangements linked to a local housing development.
The woodland, at Birds Marsh in Chippenham, is being offered to ANT for free, together with index-linked funding to help maintain it.
The charity are now seeking advice to help them make an informed decision about whether to accept the transfer of land.
In particular, they are seeking insight into the following:
- ‘Rights of way’ for an ancient woodland.
- Impact from future land acquisitions.
- Issues around public liability and obligations for public/permissive rights of way.
- Support with assessing their maintenance obligations of a linked area designated as a village green.
Avon Needs Trees would therefore be very grateful for offers of pro bono legal support to provide expertise on the above and guide them through the land transfer process.
ANT has until summer to decide but would like to start this process ASAP.