Caring for the hills protects us from flooding, says new research

Caring for the hills protects us from flooding, says new research

15 January 2019

A restoration scheme on the hills of the Peak District has the potential to reduce the level of flood risk to the towns and villages below, according to researchers.

Professors Tim Allott and Martin Evans and Dr Emma Shuttleworth, from The University of Manchester, say measures taken by conservation group Moors for the Future Partnership reduced peak flows of water from moorland areas.

Moors for the Future Partnership has restored over 32 square kilometres of bare peat since its formation in 2003 through a range of interventions, including stabilising bare peat, and blocking erosion gullies with dams. The measures were put in place to tackle the destructive impact of climate change, pollution, wildfires and unsympathetic management of the land.

But experts also think that sustainable management in the Peak District has the potential to alleviate flood risk downstream in at-risk communities such as Glossop, which was badly affected in 2002.

The study details the findings of the Making Space for Water project, a collaboration between the Manchester researchers and Moors for the Future Partnership. It is published in Journal of Hydrology X, and was funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

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