Landowners and farmers in the Brighouse area are invited to find out more about funding available to implement Natural Flood Management (NFM) measures on their land, supporting a wider project to reduce flood risk and deliver environmental benefits in the town.
The watercourses of Brighouse are part of what makes the town distinctive, but with a number of flooding events in recent years, the Council is working with partners to look at ways in which the flood risk can be reduced. This not only involves the potential development of manmade flood alleviation measures, but also NFM works to naturally hold or slow the flow of water during periods of heavy or persistent rain.
Grants are available for landowners to implement NFM measures on their land as part of a scheme managed by Calderdale Council and supported by the Environment Agency. Landowners can receive free assistance from a range of organisations, as well as help to apply if required.
Previous rounds of this grant have supported over 30 Calderdale landowners to create a range of NFM works, from attenuation basins (dry ponds that temporarily fill when it rains) to the thinning of woodlands which can help slow water flowing overland by allowing light to reach the woodland floor so new vegetation can grow.
The grants cover engineering fees when needed and items such as fencing and gates where required to protect NFM interventions. Payments are also offered to landowners to maintain their projects into the future.
The work would form part of the Brighouse Catchment Improvement Project – a package of complementary schemes that will not only reduce the risk from flooding to homes and businesses in Brighouse, but also enhance the natural landscape along the catchment area.
The project involves implementing natural processes to reduce flood risk, including tree planting,soil aeration, woodland management,attenuation ponds andSustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) such as permeable car parks, rain gardens, or even above-ground rain planter boxes. In addition, the project would explore the creation of wetland and an area of attraction for people and wildlife in Wellholme Park.
The Catchment Improvement Project would also complement other significant initiatives in the area, including the Clifton Beck Pilot project delivered by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust which aims to improve the beck’swater quality and increase the amount and quality of physical space available for nature to thrive and for local people to enjoy.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, Cllr Scott Patient, said:
“The Brighouse Catchment Improvement Project involves working with the land and watercourses around the town to improve the natural environment and reduce the flood risk.
“Part of this involves using natural processes which would hold or slow down water during instances of heavy rain. We’re encouraging landowners or farmers in or around the town to find out more about the grants available to implement these Natural Flood Management measures and support the work to reduce flood risk.
“Although people may not be thinking about flooding at the moment, as the region experiences one of the driest summers on record, it’s important to remember that flash flooding can occur at any time and as rain falls onto dry ground it can make surface flooding more likely. We want to do everything we can to minimise the impacts of the heavy rain we will inevitably experience in Calderdale and NFM techniques support this work in a huge way.”
To find out more about the grants available for landowners within the Brighouse catchment area please contact NFM@Calderdale.gov.uk This is one part of the work by the Council, partner organisations and the community to take climate action across Calderdale. For more information about the wider work, visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/council/our-vision/climate-emergency