Natural resources can stop flooding

Natural resources can stop flooding

Pick District moorland erosion, caused by wild fires, acid rain pollution from nearby cities, the harsh upland climate, over-grazing and visitor pressure, has meant huge flooding in Sheffield, Chesterfield and Derby. A project name Making Space for Water – which has received £1 million funding from DEFRA – is to be launched by Moors for the Future in partnership with the Environmental Agency.

The project aims to cut down water run-off by re-vegetating degraded moorland. Lord Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, believes flooding will be impacted as far away as Derby.

Working with researchers from Manchester University Upland Environments Research Unit, the team will work on 89 hectares of the Kinder Plateau. Deep gullies will be blocked with peat where excess rainwater would other wise run off into local rivers.

Lord Smith said: “The moors play an important natural role in reducing the risk of flooding. They absorb, retain and slowly release rain or floodwater, easing river water levels at critical times. Protecting moors through schemes like this could ensure they continue to help manage flood risk, as climate change is likely to bring more intense rainfall and resulting floods.”

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