Half term at Hardcastle Crags - join in with a ranger day

The National Trust is hosting a special half term event at Hardcastle Crags to help people learn more about the woodlands and reducing flood risk.

Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 12:00 pm
Slow The Flow volunteers building leaky dams at Hardcastle Crags. Copyright: National Trust Images/Victoria Holland

The event, which is taking place on October 30, will include special guided walks led by National Trust rangers, as well as a chance to talk to partners Slow The Flow and the Environment Agency.

Natural flood management involves working with natural resources to slow the flow of water.

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Leaky dams at Hardcastle Crags. Copyright: National Trust Images/Paul Harris

At Hardcastle Crags, the work has focused on creating leaky dams to block gullies and increasing the number of plants growing on the woodland floor, which help soak up rainfall.

So far around 630 leaky dams have been created with help from our partners Slow The Flow, a natural flood management charity.

The work also helps create more habitats for wildlife, by leaving brash (piles of sticks and leaves) on the woodland floor.

National Trust countryside manager, Rosie Holdsworth, said, “This is a great opportunity to celebrate what’s been achieved over the past few years at Hardcastle Crags. If you’ve ever walked through the woods and wondered what our piles of sticks or log dams are for, this is a great chance to learn more from our team.”

“You can also find out more about future volunteering opportunities. Slow the Flow and National Trust volunteers have been an integral part of the project so far.

“We want to keep the community involved, as they’re a hugely important part of our work.”

Bede Mullen, Chair of Slow The Flow, “Slow The Flow volunteers have been working with the National Trust and the Environment Agency since 2016, installing natural flood management into the environment of the upper Calder valley to protect our communities from the ravages of flooding.

"Over 1000 volunteers of all ages have been mobilised in this outstanding demonstration of community in action. Come along and see what we have achieved and hopefully join us on one of our future volunteering days.”

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said, “The work at Hardcastle Crags is helping our understanding of how water can be held for longer on this land through improved woodland management and building leaky dams.

"The work here is a very important part of Calderdale’s wider Natural Flood Management partnership to improve flood resilience through better catchment management and community action.”

The event starts at 10am on Saturday, October 30, next to Gibson Mill. Guided walks will run at 12 noon and 2pm and there is no need to book on. Children are welcome. Dogs on leads. The Weaving Shed Café will be open throughout half term, selling hot drinks, snacks and cakes.