Leeds City Council-funded scheme explores how nature can be used to reduce flooding along River Aire

A pilot project is testing how natural solutions can be used to help reduce the risk of flooding along the River Aire.

By Gemma Jimmison
Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 2:36 am

The works at Marlfield Farm in Earby, on the border of Yorkshire and Lancashire, will include the creation of wetlands, hedge planting, fencing off corners of fields from grazing so that more vegetation can grow and installing leaky barriers to slow the flow of rainwater while also providing better habitat for local wildlife.

The work is part of a wider Leeds City Council-funded flood risk programme that is using nature to reduce the flow of water in times of flood.

The Environment Agency is working with the River Stewardship Company to complete the work by Christmas before expanding the initiative to other areas in Earby.

The wider Leeds natural flood management programme includes tree and hedge planting, re-channelling rivers to their natural courses, soil aeration, wetland creation and moorland restoration, all of which have lots of benefits for people and wildlife.

Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake said: “This is one of five pilot sites which will allow the team to research techniques and gather evidence on the benefits of using natural solutions to reduce flood risk.

“The pilot programme is also being used by Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency to develop a joint approach to working with landowners and partners such as the National Trust and River Stewardship Company.

“This will help to develop future plans for the catchment.”