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Taking care of the hills can help protect towns and villages from flooding

Posted: 22/01/19

According to researchers, a restoration scheme that is underway on the hills of the Peak District has the potential to alleviate the level of flood risk to towns and villages below.

Professors and Doctors from the University of Manchester have found that measures taken by the conservation group ‘Moors for the Future Partnership’ reduced peak flows of water from moorland areas. Since 2003, Moors for the Future Partnership have restored over 32 square kilometres of bare peat through interventions such a stabilising bare peat and blocking erosion gullies with dams.  Not only do the interventions help to reduce flood risk downstream in at risk communities like Glossop, they also help to alleviate the effects of climate change, pollution, wildfires and unsympathetic management of the land.

The Making Space for Water project is a collaboration between the Moors for the Future Partnership and the Manchester researchers. Using test areas on Kinder Scout, the team found that re-vegetation of bare peat and damming up gullies reduces the peak volume of flow by 57% and triples the time between peak rain and park flow. This study has shown that restoration works to hills can have a significant effect on flood risk and can be beneficial for communities situated at the bottom of hills.

For further information on the project, click here.