Leeds & West Yorkshire

Tree planting plan to cut Calder Valley flood risk

Gorpley reservoir Image copyright Yorkshire Water
Image caption Yorkshire Water owns the moorland around Gorpley reservoir where the trees will be planted

Hundreds of thousands of trees are to be planted on moorland to try and reduce the risk of flooding in the Calder Valley.

The area was one of the worst hit in Yorkshire during severe flooding in December 2015.

Yorkshire Water said it intended to plant up to 200,000 trees on moorland above Gorpley reservoir, between Todmorden and Bacup, over ten years.

Trees help reduce the flow of water running off moorland into the valley.

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Yorkshire Water said the scheme would help protect communities in the area including Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.

Craig Whittaker, the Conservative MP for the Calder Valley, said the scheme was positive.

"In regards to flood management this is one project of many that will add up to the greatest sum that will reduce flooding.

"For the first time we are looking for a wider catchment plan for the whole Calder Valley and we are seeing some real work being done.

"We have a plan that goes from the top of the moorlands to the river bottom."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mytholmroyd suffered severe flooding in December 2015

Yorkshire Water said it had identified 60 hectares of "species-poor grassland" on land it owns which could be planted with trees.

Around 3,000 trees will be planted per hectare, the company said.

Other measures planned include:

  • Creating new wetland areas
  • Strengthening river banks to reduce soil erosion
  • 43 hectares of blanket bog will be improved by restoring peat land with sphagnum moss, which absorbs and slows down rain water run-off
  • Building leaky dams on small watercourses, which prevent soil and silt escaping and slow water down

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