New flood defences installed at Hardcastle Crags

The latest part of a huge project which uses natural methods to reduce flood risk in the Calder Valley has been completed.

Saturday, 16th May 2020, 8:00 am
The new dams at Hardcastle Crags. Picture: National Trust.

Over the past month tree trunks have been moved into position across Hebden Water in Hardcastle Crags.

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The trees will act as large leaky dams, encouraging the water to pool onto the woodland floodplain and slowing the flow of water into the Calder Valley.

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It is hoped this will help reduce flood risk during heavy rainfall.

The logs have been installed by specialist forestry contractors Aitch Conservation.

They are attached by steel rope and specially designed shackles into the river’s bedrock.

As the river levels rise, the logs will partially float on top of the surface of the water but will help to slow the water and force it into the woodland floodplain.

During heavy rainfall, this will encourage water to pool and be stored in the woodland rather than rushing straight down Hebden Water into the River Calder.

Project Manager, Rosie Holdsworth, said, “It’s really exciting to get this big part of the project underway which will help reduce flood risk in the Calder Valley.

“During heavy rainfall, we’ll really be able to see these leaky dams at work.

“They’ll compliment the other 500 smaller leaky dams that we’ve already built with our community partners Slow the Flow in gullies and streams throughout the woodland around Hardcastle Crags.”

This work has been funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Environment Agency.

It goes in hand in hand with the work that the National Trust has already carried out with their community partners, Slow the Flow Calderdale, installing more than 500 smaller leaky dams.