A short course for young people on local natural flood management – Week commencing 18th June

Volunteering in Hardcastle Cargs

18th May 2018


Slow the Flow Calderdale have been awarded a grant from the Community Foundation for Calderdale to execute a youth project focusing around our river level monitoring activities. As a pilot to the project, Slow The Flow are holding a short course on river flooding and Natural Flood Management which will also cover river level monitoring techniques which we are proposing to roll out across the Upper Calder catchment.

The course is suitable for 15 to 19 year olds, those who are either currently studying or interested in studying Geography, Geology/Earth science, Environmental Science or Civil Engineering at degree level and for anyone else who is interested in this ever increasingly popular area of Natural Flood Management.

The short course will take place over three days starting on Monday 18 June. It will include some classroom work, a field trip along Colden Water followed by practical experience building leaky woody dams in Hardcastle Crags. A shorter briefing of the subject material may be arranged for Saturday 23 June for those unable to attend during the week.

The purpose of the field trip is to determine the best locations to install river level monitors and the students will be actively engaged in this process. Once the monitors are installed around the catchment, these will join those already available for viewing by the general public in real time over the internet, available here

There is a technical flavour to the proposed roll-out of the course with the opportunity to build river monitors use Raspberry Pi computers and “LoRaWAN” to transfer the data using the “Internet of Things”. This is intended to broaden the appeal of associated learning opportunities to those looking to study Electronics/Electrical Engineering, the Internet of Things or IT and how these subjects fit around the natural environment.

These river level monitors will serve two purposes. Firstly, they allow the public to view the river state at times of heavy rainfall and secondly they will allow Slow The Flow to measure and demonstrate the efficacy of the natural flood management interventions that are proposed and currently being implemented in the Upper Calder Valley.

Emma Woods-Bolger Assistant Director of the Community Foundation for Calderdale said:

“Big Lottery Fund and Department of Culture, Media & Sport are each investing £20 million seed funding over four years to create the #iwill fund. Locally the Community Foundation for Calderdale, are acting as match funders and are awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill fund.

The #iwill campaign aims to increase participation in youth social action by 50% by 2020. This includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which create a double-benefit – to communities and young people themselves.

The #iwill campaign aims to increase participation in youth social action by 50% by 2020. This includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which create a double-benefit – to communities and young people themselves”.

Stuart Bradshaw from Slow The Flow Calderdale said:

“Here is an opportunity for young people to learn more about causes of devastating floods and how to build resilience into their communities. We are really excited to be able to facilitate this course for young people in the Calder Valley and to see the next generation of scientists & engineers develop their skills in Natural Flood Management”

Cllr Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said:

“This is a great opportunity for young people to learn about this fast-growing area of flood risk management and the amazing work that Slow the Flow is doing in the Calder Valley.

The Calderdale Flood Action Plan recognises the many benefits of using natural flood management alongside other methods such as engineered flood defences and we are excited to see Slow the Flow pioneering the use of data to develop NFM knowledge and improve understanding of its impacts.”

If you are a student studying for A Levels or have a general interest in the Environment or design and technology or you work with students who are studying these subjects and would like to get involved, please email secretary@slowtheflow.net to reserve your place.

Places are completely free thanks to the grant from the Community Foundation for Calderdale but spaces are limited so applications will be received on a first come, first served basis.

For more information on Slow The Flow Calderdale, contact us here 

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