West Cumbria Rivers Trust is calling for volunteers to help with a project which aims to reduce flood risk in the village of Bootle.
The environmental charity is working in close partnership with the Environment Agency and other organisations on a natural flood management project in the area. The partnership has recently secured additional funding of £22,000 from Walney Extension Community fund to add to existing Environment Agency funding of £144,000.
Working with farmers and landowners the money will be used to implement measures to slow water run-off and store it in the landscape. This can reduce flooding of houses and roads during storms by reducing the amount and speed of water rushing through the village. Measures include keeping soil in good condition, creating and restoring hedgerows, building leaky woody dams across rivers to slow the flow of water in storm conditions, temporary water storage areas and tree planting.
The Trust is looking for volunteers to help with activities such as tree and hedge planting, constructing leaky dams and monitoring river levels. Regular volunteering events will run from November 2019 and will provide a great opportunity to help the community whilst enjoying the outdoors and keeping fit.
Caitlin Pearson, West Cumbria Rivers Trust Project Manager, said: “We’re really excited to have this funding so we can work to make the beautiful landscape around Bootle deliver more benefits for the community and wildlife. We are very grateful for the support we’ve received from landowners and Bootle Parish Council and we’d love to see members of the local community come along to help out.”
Natural flood management is not a full solution to reducing flood risk, but it can be a sustainable way to manage flood risk help, particularly for smaller rivers. It also delivers other benefits such as enhancing habitat, improving water quality and storing carbon. In many cases it can also benefit farm businesses.
Evidence about how well the different natural flood management techniques work will be analysed by hydrologists at Lancaster University to help guide future flood management policy and funding.
Anyone who would like to get involved or find out more about the project should contact [email protected]