Hardcastle Crags, our local National Trust site, is the home of Slow The Flow’s most successful project on the ground to date, in excess of 400 woody leaky dams built, and counting!
Since November 2016, our volunteers have been working with the incredible team of rangers and land managers at The National Trust, The Environment Agency, Calderdale Council, Nathan the working horse, and many others, to build leaky woody dams across streams with large logs, and stuff deep gullies with smaller branches.
We have also created several larger areas where water will be temporarily stored during a storm. These comprise a series of leaky dams blocking water courses that pass through relatively level areas of woodland. The water pools and slows, to the extent it is stationary during the storm event – wetting up the woodland floor, which provides additional environment benefits.
These interventions mimic the natural environment (beavers, etc.) to slow the flow of rain water from the hillsides by pushing excess water onto the forest floor, slowing its flow to the main river channel. This helps to reduce the height of the flood peak in our towns and villages further down the catchment, at Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and beyond. For more information see here .
Our dedicated teams of volunteers have worked tirelessly every month to build in excess of 10 / 12 new dams every month and there are plans to continue this work here for many years to come.
We have great fun, contributing to flood prevention in the Calder Valley, whilst enjoying the outdoors – if you would like to join us, get in touch!
Future volunteering dates can be found on our calendar.
Hardcastle Crags is also the home of our river level monitoring project which will help us to understand the impact our work is having, and provide data on river levels throughout the area to allow residents to react before and during a storm. The monitoring comes in many forms and more information can be found here.
Leaky Dams in action! Watch the pools form (especially in the top left) as the snow melts.
For more information on what we are doing at Hardcastle Crags, see our blog posts below or visit our blog page.
Helping Ourselves (Part 2); The importance of river surveys and a pilot project for Hardcastle Crags
Our river surveys have been an integral part of getting to this stage – find out more about them