Join forces to help reduce flooding risk

Joint press release from Calderdale Council and the Environment Agency

Volunteers are being sought to help keep the River Calder at Mytholmroyd clear of vegetation. 

Contractors moved in this week to start removing excess vegetation growth from the river channel and its banks to ease the flow of water through the town and, therefore, help to reduce the risk of flooding. 

And, as part of the works programme, they are inviting local people to come along to special training days to learn about vegetation management and how to tackle invasive species such as Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed.

 The two volunteer days are being organised with Calder Future and will take place both mid week and at the weekend. Anyone who would like to volunteer should contact Gavin Roberts as soon as possible at

 The project is being funded by Calderdale Council as part of its flood risk reduction work in partnership with the Environment Agency.

 Cllr Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, said: 

“This is an opportunity for the local community of Mytholmroyd to get involved in the maintenance of their waterways. The removal of vegetation from the River Calder at Mytholmroyd is part of the Council’s ongoing works programme to reduce the risk of flooding. November is Flood Awareness Month, and it’s real chance for residents and local businesses to help prepare for future flooding. More information is available on the Council and Environment Agency websites.” 

Anthony Rae, chair of Calder Future said: 

“These volunteer events in Mytholmroyd are a taster of the river stewardship programme we will be organising in the Upper Calder Valley from spring 2014. Contact us if you’d like to take part next week or next year.” 

Assessments carried out by the Environment Agency in Mytholmroyd, following the severe floods in summer 2012, showed that keeping control of vegetation growth would reduce the risk of the river overtopping its banks. 

However, the study also showed that removal of gravel from the river bed in the area near New Road Bridge would not decrease the risk of flooding. 

Environment Agency project manager, Andrew Coen, said: 

“The work taking place at Mytholmroyd is an ideal opportunity to promote river stewardship, which is one of the elements of the Defra funded project being managed by Calderdale Council to improve local flood resilience. 

“River Stewardship is about enabling communities to make decisions and take an active role in the management of their local rivers. By providing training for local groups, we can enable better management of the rivers and streams in the Calder Valley.”

 The vegetation clearance is expected to be completed by early December and will cover the river from Hawks Clough to Brearley Weir. 

The Environment Agency is running a flood campaign throughout November to make people think about what they would hate to lose in a flood and how they can be prepared. 

More than five million people in England and Wales live and work in properties at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea – and this figure will increase with a changing climate.

 There are simple steps people can take to help protect themselves, their families and their homes from flooding. 

 Take these small steps now and help save time, money and distress in a flood.

 Get involved by following the conversation on Twitter(external link) and Facebook(external link) using #floodaware and adding the #floodaware Twibbon(external link) to your profile picture on Twitter and/or Facebook. 

Or you can call for advice by phoning Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

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