Work to create a wetland nature reserve at Brearley Fields in Mytholmroyd is now complete, transforming the former playing fields into a valuable wetland habitat and naturally managing local flood risk.
The project, which is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, has been designed to increase floodwater storage on the floodplain of the River Calder. The wetland also creates new wildlife habitats.
The new wetland features two large permanent ponds and a temporary pond with hollows connected to the river. The ponds fill and drain as river levels naturally rise and fall. It’s estimated that the new features can hold an additional 3000m³ of floodwater, the equivalent of approximately seven 25 metre swimming pools.
The flood storage features have already been successfully used, with a recent storm causing almost a month’s worth of rain to fall in the Upper Calder Valley in one 24-hour period. River levels rapidly increased and the temporary pond filled with flood water. This then drained the next day as river levels fell.
Unlike previous flood events at Brearley Fields, the nearby football pitches stayed dry during this weather event.
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