Results of research conducted on Plate Weirs installed in brooks on the Hebden Water catchment – By Stuart Bradshaw from Slow The Flow Management Team.

In January 2016 I wrote a blog and published it on LinkedIn entitled “Pound for pound could this simple weir save our uplands from future flooding”,, this pre-dates my involvement with Slow the Flow Calderdale which came later in the year.  I wrote this blog in the aftermath of Boxing Day 2015 and the devastating flooding which deluged the Upper Calder Valley and other parts of Northern England thanks to Storm Eva.  In fact it is largely because of this blog that I then met Amanda McDermott and Robin Gray who are both now valued and active committee members of StFC and it was only following these introductions that I first considered the possibility of forming a group of like minded individuals who were keen to try and do something positive to reduce flood risk here in the Calder Valley.

The “Pound for pound” blog also opened up connections with University of Leeds Department of Geography from where a young post-graduate student named Alex Clark approached me to see if he could do some research on the efficiency of plate weirs, and in particular on the weirs I had installed here on the Hebden Water catchment. I was more than happy to help and so Alex and I went about setting up some pressure gauges upstream and downstream of two weir cascades and the results from this research are now available here for anyone who is interested:   HB_Dissertation_A Clark Final

I will let Alex’s report speak for itself but it is apparent certainly to me that there is some definite positive benefits to be gained from installing small obstructions in watercourses in appropriate places, whether its plate weirs or woody debris dams.  These type of interventions are just some of the ideas we will be implementing beginning soon in Hardcastle Craggs with the National Trust, just one of our projects underway with Slow the Flow Calderdale.

If you want to get involved then please get in touch. In fact when I think of it, the “Pound for pound” blog has brought us quite some way since the dark days of January 2016.

Stuart Bradshaw BSc(Hons) MSc DIC CEng MIStructE M.ASCE FGS