The £2.1million government-funded Weardale Natural Flood Management scheme, which includes a series of nature based solutions such as storage areas, wooden leaky barriers and timber fences, could reduce flood risk across 41km2 to communities including Lanehead, Wearhead, Westgate and Stanhope. It’s also seen 150 hectares of peatland restored, will aim to create up to 75 hectares of woodland and brings a habitat boost to wildlife.

The project is led by the Environment Agency working in partnership with Natural England, North Pennines AONB Partnership, the Forestry Commission and Durham County Council with representation from the Wear Catchment Partnership, alongside local farmers and landowners.

This week (Thursday, 12 August) MP for North West Durham Richard Holden visited the site to find out more about the project.  More than 20 natural features have been constructed to bolster flood protection in the North East as part of a pioneering natural flood management project.

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Environment Agency encourages landowners to introduce natural flood management techniques in the River Aire catchment

The Environment Agency, Leeds City Council and the White Rose Forest partnership are calling for landowners to introduce natural flood management measures on their land to help mitigate climate change and reduce the risk of flooding in the River Aire catchment, from Malham to Leeds.

White Rose Forest partners are now available to work with landowners or farmers to identify potential opportunities for natural flood management work on their land and guide them through the design and practical support they need to complete each project – all of which is fully-funded.

Natural flood management measures can help to reduce flood risk by mimicking natural processes and slowing the flow of water. These measures are generally divided into three main categories: river and floodplain management; woodland management; and run-off management. Some examples include: tree and hedgerow planting; buffer strips (which trap sediment and slowing water flow); leaky barriers (which enhance floodplain storage); woodland creation; and sediment traps.

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