A natural flood management scheme piloted on a farm in Yorkshire has been deemed a success following the slow down of flooding after storm Ciara and Dennis.
A team from the Environment Agency have been working with the River Stewardship Company and landowners at Marlfield Farm in Earby, Yorkshire, since last September in a bid to slow down the flow of rainwater and provide better habitat for local wildlife.
This is one of a series of projects as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme that are using natural flood management techniques to help protect the people of Leeds who live near the River Aire and who are at risk of flooding.
Works have included wetland creation, hedge and tree planting, leaky barrier installation and fencing off corners of fields from grazing so more vegetation can grow.
A time-lapse camera was fitted which showed the difference that the project is making. It recorded the impact that these measures made to slow the flow locally during storm Ciara and Dennis earlier this year.
Evidence from these projects is being gathered to fully understand the benefits of natural flood prevention and will be used to decide how best to work with landowners and tenants in the future.
Jenny Barlow, flood risk adviser at the Environment Agency, said: ‘We are very grateful to the landowners for working with us to trial these NFM techniques on their land and delighted as the initial results at Marlfield Farm are positive.
‘This project will contribute to local flood risk reduction and provide wider environmental benefits, slowing the flow of water locally and to downstream communities including Leeds.
‘Earby has a history of flooding and although these natural techniques will not prevent this from ever happening again, we hope that our success at Earby will be a catalyst for more landowners to come forward and work with us to install more of these measures.
‘These will have a cumulative benefit and should help the landscape to hold more water during flood events.
‘Natural flood management also offers huge potential for climate mitigation, for example, creating wetlands, restoring our uplands and planting trees can help to capture tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.’
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