Forestry Commission and Environment Agency project aims to alleviate flooding in North Yorkshire

An ancient North Yorkshire landscape is being used in a Forestry Commission study exploring ways of alleviating severe flooding.

A project by the Forestry Commission and the Environment Agency is underway at 340ha Bishop Wood, near Cawood, to dam drainage ditches.

The work will allow rainwater to be retained for longer in the wood rather than quickly flowing downstream into the Selby Dam, a tributary of the River Ouse. The initiative is being backed by £25,000 from the National Grid.

Around 3km of dykes are being excavated to increase their storage capacity and then dammed. During heavy downpours these channels will fill with water, eventually overspilling into selected areas, covering up to 12ha of the wood.

Forestry Commission wildlife officer Brian Walker said: "This is the first time in Yorkshire that we have tried anything quite like this and although it's a relatively small scale experiment, it could have far wider implications for other flood-prone areas. We are not flooding the wood, but rather reverting back to a pattern of seasonal wetness. There are also extremely good ecological reasons for re-wetting the wood. It will boost biodiversity and over time more oak and alder will take root, both classical wet woodland species."

Public access to the popular wood will be maintained as many trails and paths are already on higher ground, while others will be diverted. Work to dam the drainage ditches will take six weeks.


Subscribe to Horticulture Week for more news, more in-depth features and more technical and market info.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Business planning - cash-flow management

Business planning - cash-flow management

Wider market volatility can have a big impact on cash flow but there are ways to avoid problems, Neville Stein explains.

Chainsaws - Improving performance

Chainsaws - Improving performance

Battery chainsaws offer many advantages while innovative technology shelps the latest petrol models meet emissions standards, writes Sally Drury.

Chainsaws tested and reviewed: battery v petrol

Chainsaws tested and reviewed: battery v petrol

How do the latest battery models shape up against new petrol chainsaws when tested at Bridgwater College? Sally Drury reports.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Custodian Awards

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources