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Funding boost for tree planting and flood management

Monday, 18 December 2023

National Trust and Yorkshire Water's nature-restoration programme has received £1.9million funding from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Landscapes for Water will install natural flood management across five upland areas of West Yorkshire by 2028, including the Yorkshire Water land at Walshaw and Gorple, and the Withens Reservoir area near Cragg Vale.

Creating leaky dams. Photo: Paul Harris

Landscapes for Water, an ambitious new landscape restoration programme from the National Trust and Yorkshire Water, has been given a major boost by West Yorkshire Combined Authority funding. The £1.9 million grant was announced by West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin at Biffa offices in Brighouse on 18th December as part of a £22 million West Yorkshire Plan for flood prevention.

A partner programme between National Trust and Yorkshire Water, Landscapes for Water plans to help restore landscapes across the South Pennines by planting trees and installing natural flood management interventions, such as leaky dams, on a landscape scale. The grant will enable the programme to install NFM across five areas of uplands in the South Pennines, from Widdop and Gorple reservoir in the north to Marsden Moor in the south.

Gully blocking

Following a 2022 report by the Environment Agency, natural flood management has been acknowledged as an essential and core part of the nation's defence against flooding and climate change. Landscape management can store thousands of cubic metres of water per metre of land, slowing the flow of water, protecting unique habitats and wildlife, healing climate harm, and delivering flood risk resilience for downstream communities.

Starting in autumn 2024, leaky dams and other natural flood management interventions will be installed. Alongside this work, the National Trust and Yorkshire Water will be planting up to 300,000 trees and undertaking an educational programme that will help the local communities, with a focus on schools and youth groups, understand the vital role that nature plays in flood prevention.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: "As climate change worsens, and one in 100-year floods become more common, it's vital we step up our support for businesses and communities and ensure our region is fit for the future. We want West Yorkshire to be more resilient to flooding so we can avoid the terrible devastation of the 2015 Boxing Day Floods."

The benefits:

  • Creation and enhancement of priority habitats
  • Improved habitat connectivity
  • Increase in biodiversity
  • Habitat and species resilience
  • Water quality benefits

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