Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New flood schemes in Northeastern UK "will harness nature"

Tony Henderson in the Journal Live (UK): A series of “leaky” ponds are being created to store water from rising streams and rivers during flood conditions, which is then gradually released through pipes when the danger has passed. Belford in Northumberland has been used to trial the system, where wetland areas and seven ponds and small dams have contained floodwater from the Belford Burn and rainwater run off.

The agency project, which also involves Newcastle University and local landowners, has been dubbed the “pond in every field” scheme, Six similar leaky ponds are being installed at Powburn and are planned for Hepscott in Northumberland, while water storage techniques are also being used at Howden-le-Wear in County Durham.

Above Hexham the disused Wydon reservoir has converted to store up to 13,000 tonnes of diverted water from the Wydon Burn and is also doubling as a fishery with sculpture and interpretation board.

Another project in the Making Space for Water strategy involves restoring the natural flood plain of the River Till in Northumberland, which has seen floodbanks removed and the creation of 20 ponds and 140 hectares of wetland. “Government strategies have highlighted the need to work with, rather than against, nature and this is clearly vital when dealing with the huge energies associated with flooding and climate change,” said an agency spokesman.

The Living Waterways project in which communities have worked to clear obstructive rubbish and improve habitats on streams on Tyneside has now been extended to County Durham….

A numenius arquata poking around Cresswell Pond in Northumberland, shot by MPF, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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