Making Space for Water symposium
Making Space for Water presented new evidence of the effect on moorland restoration works on flooding in a Symposium at the University of Manchester in May 2014. Researchers from the University of Manchester produced figures demonstrating that moorland planting does significantly slow the run-off following downpours.
Starting in 2009, one area of damaged moorland was left bare, one was re-vegetated with moorland plants such as heather, cotton grass, bilberry and cloudberry, and one was re-vegetated and the deep erosion gullies-blocked with small dams. The research found that re-vegetation was the key – it produced the greatest delay in water flowing off the moors after a heavy storm, although there was a smaller additional benefit from gully-blocking.
Researchers are now conducting mathematical modelling to predict what effect this will have on rivers flowing through communities downstream.
The symposium also discussed five years of evidence from the two other Defra-funded flood management demonstration projects which have been running at the same time:
These schemes are looking at large-scale practical land management – working with land managers, farmers and woodland owners to install log dams, plant trees, build earth mounds and enable farmland flood-plains.
The symposium also discussed other benefits, including purer water running into our reservoirs, increased carbon absorption to mitigate climate change and more varied wildlife.
Making space for water:
Slowing the flow:
Source to sea: