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Natural flood defences put in place in Sheffield

Natural flood management methods are being put in place in Sheffield’s Limb Brook Valley to protect the region from potential flooding.

The work is part of the Upper Don Source to Sea Programme which will help to store and slow water flows, reducing the risk of flooding and supporting the area’s wildlife. 

Twelve storage ponds and several leaky dams have been constructed as part of the first phase of the project at Lady Canning’s Plantation. 

Storage ponds will capture any run-off from the plantation and moorland, while the dams will encourage floods to flow into woodland and help to create a boggy area at the head of the Limb Brook. 

It’s hoped these nature-based solutions will increase the value of existing habitats by creating climate resilience.

The project is part of a partnership between the Environment Agency, Sheffield City Council and Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, and is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

green trees beside body of water

Leo Ingvorsen, Nature Recovery Manager (Water) at Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust said: ‘It’s been a great start to an exciting project. The ponds and dams at Lady Canning’s Plantation will help protect people and businesses downstream whilst also supporting local wildlife and encouraging a resilient river system.

‘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.’

Future plans will see more leaky dams installed at key locations in the Limb brook, natural drainage improved, more storage ponds created on Whirlow Fields and trees planted to encourage water retention 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.’

Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust is asking volunteers to help with tree planting and gathering data for Sheffield Hallam University as part of the project. 

Photo by Karim Sakhibgareev

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