Natural Flood Management

The footbridge washed away after the storm.

Hardcastle Crags is a beauty spot of the South Pennines with more than 160 hectares of woodland and grassland. We aspire to be the demonstration site for Natural Flood Management best practice. Most of what we do is achieved with the help of local volunteers and through partnerships.

The National Trust is working with partners including the Environment Agency and Slow the Flow Calderdale to install wide range of natural flood management interventions (NFM) in the Hardcastle Crags Estate. Many of these NFM interventions will involve using natural resources such as trees trunks and branches to create leaky dams in the streams that run through the woodland. Leaky dams reduce the speed at which water runs through the woodland into the River.  

NFM is also a key objective of our woodland management plan.  We will also implement a monitoring scheme that will help measure the success of these NFM interventions. As a significant landowner in Calderdale we feel it is important to play our part in reducing peak flows of water that often impacts communities downstream.  The leaky dams will also provide important deadwood habitat for fungi and invertebrates. Tree felling to produce the materials for the leaky dams in itself will help to create wet woodland and also increase light levels on the woodland floor to benefit species such as butterflies and improve the rate of natural regeneration for a wide range of different trees. 

If you would like to get involved with Slow The Flow Calderdale, please visit their website for more information. There are plenty of opportunities to work with us and make a difference to our community and to our ever changing environment.

River surveyors beside Hebden Water
River surveyors