A group of sailors in Greenwich are fighting back against flooding with an unusual strategy, creating a wall of Christmas trees alongside the Thames.

Greenwich Yacht Club have taken to fighting back against the sea onshore, armed with spades, sledge hammers and a stack of Christmas trees to protect the sea wall.

The unlikely source of protection will achieve a number of things; protecting the sea wall, increasing the biodiversity in the area, and reducing the sailor's carbon footprint.

The plans were put into action at the beginning of February, perfect timing as the was subsequently battered by Storm Ciara last week, followed by Storm Dennis over the weekend.

Several flood alerts were put in place during both storms, and heavy rain and high tide both contributed to flooding along the Thames, as pictured below.

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Thousands of Christmas trees are dumped each year once the festive period comes to an end, and Greenwich Yacht Club has set out to put use these Xmas leftovers to use.

The sea wall, just up stream of the club is being constantly eroded by high waves and wash from ferries and ships, particularly at high tide, with the water cutting into the earth bank and closing in on the Thames path itself.

The fancy name for their plan is “inter tidal bio-engineering," creating a wall of trees to act as a wave break.

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Behind this, rolls of coir matting are pinned to the river bed, creating a "tranquil area where aquatic fauna and flora can grow," as well as halting the waves.

Following donations of Christmas trees, the club set about creating the defence wall, removing each tree's base to make it easier to connect the trees in the wall.

The branches were tied together and then the trees were brought down onto a beach in Greenwich running along the Thames.

Stakes were hammered, and the trees were placed in the defence wall, held in place using metal wire.

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The next step is to plant reeds in the coir matting, which, once established, will provide a fantastic refuge for birds, young fish, and all manor of bugs and insects, creating an entire eco-system.

The yacht club say that as mariners, they have serious regard for the environment and has set up a working group to fight climate change and dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of the club.

The Environmental Agency carry out similar work all along the Thames, from the old Naval College in Greenwich to the O2, but their work involves trucks, JCBs and conrete, often costing thousands of pounds.