‘Leaky dams’ form at flood prevention spot in the woods

Work starts on a 2.6m project to protect people and wildlife at Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire.
Work starts on a 2.6m project to protect people and wildlife at Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire.

Business leaders rolled their sleeves up alongside volunteers on a stretch of Pennine woodland yesterday as work began on a £2.6m flood prevention scheme.

The two-year project at Hardcastle Crags in the Calder Valley, announced at the weekend, is aimed at protecting homes and businesses in nearby towns that were devastated by the Boxing Day floods of 2015, as well as preserving the area’s wildlife habitats.

Representatives and managers of the National Trust, Yorkshire Water and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership gathered at the site to help in the building of “leaky dams” which slow the flow of water running through the Colne and Calder river catchment areas, without drying up the surrounding land.

Volunteers have already built around 300 such traps.

Mike Innerdale, director of the National Trust in the north, said: “When it comes to reducing the risk of flooding, we have to look at how we slow the water down from source to sea.

“By trying to slow, store and filter water before it ends up in the main rivers, we can help reduce flood risk, improve water quality and potentially make water available during dry periods.”