Slowing the Flow at Pickering

Slowing the Flow at Pickering is exploring a new approach to flood management. It is about working with nature to try and store more water in the landscape and slow its passage downstream. Whilst this will not prevent all flooding, it is expected to reduce the frequency of future floods in Pickering, as well as deliver a range of other benefits to the local environment and community.

Key highlights from the project are:

  1. A strong partnership has delivered a more sustainable approach to managing flood risk, which has reduced the risk of flooding in the town of Pickering from a 25% chance in any year to a less than 4% chance.
  2. Flood alleviation has been achieved by working with natural processes, including building a large flood storage area, placing 167 ‘leaky’ woody dams and 187 heather bale dams within streams, building two timber bunds, planting 44 ha of woodland and improving farmland, moorland and woodland management.
  3. The local community and partners have embraced the concept of working with natural processes and believe this new approach to flood risk management is already making a difference.

The project has been receiving a lot of attention lately following the recent floods in York and elsewhere. While the North York Moors did not receive as much rainfall in December 2015 as other parts of the country, the measures in place at Pickering are believed to have averted some flooding in the town.

For further information contact

Tom Nisbet
Forest Research