How leaky dams are strengthening Calder Valley's flood defences

Building of “leaky dams” has begun again to help strengthen a valley’s natural flood defences.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Saturday, 25th September 2021, 8:00 am
Slow the Flow in action
Slow the Flow in action

Volunteering sessions for Calderdale-based Slow The Flow have begun again, after being put on hold because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Secretary Adrian Horton told a climate change working party that sessions at Hardcastle Crags, Hebden Bridge, had started again through the summer.

After two months spent “balsam bashing” volunteers were now turning their hands again to leaky dams – where natural materials are used to allow water to pass more slowly from the tip of the Calder Valley down to the valley bottom to help reduce flooding risk.

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“We are heading towards 600 plus leaky dams at Hardcastle Crags now,” he said.

Slow The Flow, which in the spring was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, has also appointed three trustees, two of them working in educational settings, who would be preparing material about natural flood management which could be used in schools as part of the national curriculum.

The organisation had also appointed a new fundraiser to raise money for work it wanted to do but could not currently afford to do, Mr Horton told members of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Climate Change Working Party.

On November 1 Slow The Flow will be joining Treesponsibility and Flood Wardens at an event at Todmorden Town Hall to talk about funding and how to promote natural flood management.

An educational bursary for students studying natural flood management, funded by Calderdale Council, the Environment Agency and the National Trust had been set up dedicated to the memory of Calder Valley environmental campaigner and activist Dongria Kondh, who passed away earlier this year, the panel heard.

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