Primary - Reducing flood damage: 2011 - Slowing the flow

Slowing the Flow at Pickering is a new project that seeks to demonstrate how better land management can help to tackle the flooding problem faced by Pickering in north Yorkshire.

Flooding appears to be an increasingly common event and one that could get even worse with climate change. Pickering has been flooded four times in the last 10 years (1999, 2000, 2002 and 2007), with the last flood the most serious to date, causing damage to homes and businesses valued at approximately £7m. The impact of the 2007 floods was particularly severe across the whole of the Yorkshire and the Humber Region, with the total damage estimated at £2.1 billion.

‘Slowing the Flow at Pickering’ (Yorkshire) is an experiment exploring a new approach to flood management using woody dams to slow the flow in the forest watercourses. It is about working with nature to try and store more water in the landscape and slow its passage downstream. Whilst this will not prevent all flooding, it is expected to reduce the frequency of future floods in Pickering, as well as deliver a range of other benefits to the local environment and community.

Slowing the Flow at Pickering is a partnership project. It is led by Forest Research, closely supported by Forestry Commission England, The Environment Agency, The North York Moors National Park Authority, Durham University, Natural England and the wider community. The lead funder is Defra.

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