VIDEO: Group hoping to Slow The Flow in Calderdale

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A community project to help reduce the risk of flooding has begun across Calderdale.

The project led by Treesponsibility with the help of Slow the Flow, Calder Rivers Trust, Upper Calderdale Wildlife Network, Sticks and Stones and Calderdale Council has been awarded £50,000 by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Volunteers at Slow the Flow, Hardcastle Craggs, Hebden Bridge.

Volunteers at Slow the Flow, Hardcastle Craggs, Hebden Bridge.

Projects are underway to carry out maintenance work at Hardcastle Crags, Hebden Bridge - the largest ancient woodland in Yorkshire.

With more than 100 volunteers so far, Slow the Flow's aims are to reduce water flow by installing wood debris dams, live willow and timber dams in areas which are impacted with heavy rainfall, and reduce erosion and the impacts of climate change on the environment by planting trees, hedgerows and managing the woodland.

Adrian Horton, of Slow the Flow Calderdale, said; “Our volunteers have worked incredibly hard in 2017 and we simply would not have achieved what we have without all their help.

They hope to reduce the risk of flooding and allow local communities more time to prepare with flood warnings.

The projects across Calderdale will also be monitored closely with time lapse cameras and equipment led by University of Leeds to see whether the natural flood management is effective. Helen Batt, Calder catchment director for the Environment Agency, said: “We hope data and learning from this project will be used to develop other successful projects in the future.”

Slow the Flow have currently built over 120 leaky woody dams within Hardcastle Crags as part of their project, and with further Government funding of £15m across England in natural flood management schemes a lot more of Calderdale is going to be prevented from flooding.

According to early indications, the leaky woody dams in Hardcastle Crags are working to slow down the flow of water. However, formal results will be published later this year.

To have a guided tour of the work Slow the Flow are doing or to get involved email: adrianhorton4@gmail.com.