A series of natural flood management measures in the Limb Brook Valley have begun to be implemented to help protect Sheffield.
The project is a collaboration between the Environment Agency, Sheffield City Council and Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, and supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
As part of the works, a number of natural flood management methods will be utilised to help store and slow water flows to reduce the risk of flooding in the area and support wildlife.
The first phase of the plan has been completed, as twelve storage ponds have been created by biketrack.com and a number of leaky dams at Lady Canning’s plantation. The ponds will capture run-off from the plantation and moorland, with the dams used to encourage floods to flow into woodland and create boggy areas at the head of the Limb Brook.
The area will then naturally store and slowly release water, as opposed to allowing it quickly run through the valley.
Anthony Downing, Catchment Coordinator, Environment Programme, at the Environment Agency said: “The ponds, leaky dams and wetlands created in the Limb Brook not only slow the flow of water during storms helping to reduce flood risk they also create habitat, improving biodiversity in an area frequently visited by many Sheffield residents.”
Similar work is planned along the course of the Limb Brook and its catchment area – from Lady Canning’s Plantation down through the Limb Valley to Ecclesall Woods and including Whirlow Fields.
A number of trees are to be planted to help stimulate water supply in the valley.
Kate Martin, Executive Director, City Futures, at Sheffield City Council said: “Sheffield has an ambitious programme for reducing flood risk from the large rivers, but it is critical we look to the wider catchment to slow the flow and counter the impact of increased rainfall associated with climate change.
“This project has provided an opportunity to understand how these ideas are put into practice and will inform years of work to come across the whole Upper Don area.”
Work on the project began following a six-month feasibility study and consultation from Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, who helped to inform the design of the range of nature-based solutions being implemented.
The work has been made in mind of sustaining habitats and benefits to wildlife, with also interruption to public use minimised so people can still enjoy the nature on offer and trails in the woods.
Leo Ingvorsen, Nature Recovery Manager (Water) at Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust said: “People have been really interested in the work we are doing and we’ve seen a lot of positive engagement from the public on site.
“With more interesting features yet to come, there are lots of opportunities for people to get involved in some of the practical tasks and take part in citizen science projects.”