SOURCE brings together partners from community and government organisations including Treesponsibility, the Calder Rivers Trust, National Trust, The Upper Calderdale Wildlife Group, Todmorden Moor Restoration Trust, Calder Futures, Calderdale Council, the Environment Agency, Moors for the Future/MoorLIFE, Slow the Flow Calderdale, Sticks and Stones, South Pennine Facilitation Fund, Pennine Prospects and the White Rose Forest to:
- minimise flash flooding through appropriately-sited tree planting and moorland restoration;
- treat damaged land and control erosion;
- slow storm water run-off through small-scale landscape interventions;
- improve the water and habitat quality of the River Calder; and
- undertake educational activities and encourage volunteering so that people of all ages and from all walks of life become aware of the value of our rivers and uplands.
This involves working with landowners to identify potential NFM sites and determine appropriate courses of action. The SOURCE partnership is always on the lookout for new sites to use, so please contact lead organisation Treesponsibility on 07847 815926 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a plot that might be of interest.
The Environment Agency has embraced the concept of Natural Flood Management as an adjunct to their engineering works. It has backed this up by giving the partnership a significant increase in funding, with match-funding coming from the Woodland Trust, Calderdale Community Foundation, SUMA Wholefoods and Calderdale Council.
This financial backing has enabled SOURCE to carry out a wide range of activities include those outlined below and in the NFM in Calderdale section. They have also helped to set up the NFM grant scheme to enable farmers and landowners to deliver natural flood management on their land.
Often the most effective approach involves implementing several NFM measures in synergy, particularly at larger sites. Yorkshire Water is currently undertaking a major “landscape for water” initiative on their land at Gorpley in partnership with the White Rose Forest. The Woodland Trust will be project managing the tree planting scheme and NFM interventions as part of a wider project including land at Wessenden and Hardcastle Crags.
Sixty hectares of species poor grassland are being planted with trees to help slow down the rush of rain water to vulnerable locations. Approximately 3,000 trees are being planted per hectare which could mean up to 200,000 trees planted over the next couple of years by local community groups.
Other natural flood management measures will also be implemented over the next 5 – 10 years:
- 43 hectares of blanket bog will be improved by restoring peatland with sphagnum moss, which absorbs and slows down rain water runoff to act as a natural flood barrier;
- leaky dams will be installed on some of the smaller watercourses;
- fascines will be used to reduce the risk of soil erosion; and
- a patchwork of wetland areas will be created.
A £50,000 community project to help reduce the risk of flooding in Calderdale started last winter to be delivered over the next three years. Midgelden Brook is one of three projects in Yorkshire to successfully bid for DEFRA funding to support community led organisations to deliver natural flood management.
The aim is to slow the flow of water into Midgelden Brook by installing woody debris dams, living willow and timber leaky dams in areas where there is a substantial flow of surface during heavy rainfall.
The project also aims to make the landscape more resilient to the impacts of climate change by reducing erosion, preventing sediment in water courses, planting trees and hedgerow, managing the woodland and improving the river environment.
One of the main objectives of the funding stream is to develop the wider evidence base related to natural flood management. Time lapse cameras and equipment to monitor the project will be installed in partnership with the Yorkshire iCASP project which is being led by Leeds University, and data on flows and biodiversity will also be gathered.
Rain garden planters
Finally, rain garden planters are being installed in the courtyard of Hebden Bridge Town Hall to show how small interventions can be used to slow run-off and temporarily store water during storm events in our urban areas. The planters will intercept water from downpipes around the edges of the courtyard, providing water attenuation and biodiversity in an attractive way whilst maintaining the usability of the courtyard as a flexible open space.
The project is funded by The Postcode Local Trust and the Calder Rivers Trust. Slow the Flow, The Green Business Network and 2B Landscape Consultancy are all involved. Following the installation of a prototype planter in December, the group intends to have several large planters in place in summer 2018 with the help of volunteers.
The idea is to use the project as a catalyst for ongoing encouragement of the public to build 'DIY' rain gardens, turning a small-scale scheme into a far-reaching campaign to inspire communities throughout Calderdale and beyond.