Moors for the Future Partnership’s ‘Making Space for Water’ project was launched by Lord Smith, Chair of the Environment Agency, on 30 September at Fairholmes Visitor Centre in the Derwent Valley.

In this new project Moors for the Future, in partnership with the Environment Agency, aim to demonstrate how our natural moorland resources can help to protect against flooding as well as deliver other important benefits.

Thousands of people rely on rainwater from the moors of the Peak District for their daily drinking water but sometimes, as we discovered in the flash floods of 2007, we can have too much of a good thing!

Working with researchers from Manchester University Upland Environments Research Unit (UpERU), the Making Space for Water Project is investigating a new approach to flood management.

Speakers at the launch described how the project will investigate whether a healthy moorland landscape can help to slow down the movement of water into local rivers after heavy rain. Guests were also shown the depths of sediment washed from the degraded moors into Derwent Reservoir and a representative from Severn Trent Water discussed the problems, not to mention additional costs, that this creates for the companies providing quality drinking water to thousands of people. Guests were then taken out to see for themselves the scale of the work involved in the project.