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Project chiefs behind a UK first pilot scheme to demonstrate new ways of reducing flood risk in the Pickering and Sinnington areas have launched a new website packed with information on the groundbreaking initiative.
Online surfers can now find in-depth information on the North Yorkshire project, along with the latest research findings and information for landowners on the grants available to take part in the scheme.
Project co-ordinator Simon Marrington, from Pickering, explained:
"Community involvement is key to the success of the scheme and the website is an important step forward in keeping the public up to speed with what we are doing. We have put a wealth of information online and we'll be updating it on a regular basis as the project progresses."
The £700,000 two year initiative part-funded by DEFRA aims to harness nature to assess how land management upstream can reduce flooding in vulnerable communities.
Led by the Forest Research branch of the Forestry Commission, it brings together a partnership of the Environment Agency, Durham University, Forestry Commission England, North York Moors National Park Authority, Natural England, North Yorkshire County Council, Ryedale District Council and the wider community. The Yorkshire Regional Flood Defence Committee, which raises money from local authorities in the region, has earmarked £50,000 towards the project.
Approaches being tested include tree planting, the creation of buffer strips along watercourses and restoring woody debris dams to increase the time between heavy rain falling on the upper catchment and its arrival as flood waters through Pickering and Sinnington.
The impact of the 2007 floods, which inflicted misery on Yorkshire and the Humber, including Pickering and Sinnington, caused damage estimated at £2.1 billion.
The hope is that more sustainable techniques can be devised to help cope with increasingly frequent severe flooding events.
To find out more log on to www.forestresearch.gov.uk/slowingtheflow
NOTE TO EDITOR
Yorkshire Regional Flood Defence Committee raises its funding through a levy on local authorities across Yorkshire. This is supported by matched funding from regional development agency Yorkshire Forward in recognition of the devastating damage that flooding can have on the region's economy. The levy is designed to fund a programme of flood reduction schemes that are important to the region, and typically involve projects that would not otherwise receive funding from the usual central government funds.
Issued on behalf of the Forestry Commission by
Richard Darn, COI. Tel 0113 346 6085. Mobile 0775 367 0038.