The Environment Agency and its partners aim to slow the movement of water from the Weardale hillside and increase biodiversity in an area that has been sculpted by mining operations.
Among the flood reduction features it will introduce across the 100km² are:
- 125 coir rolls (made from coconut fibres) installed on minor flood routes
- 30 stone dams across larger channels
- blocking man-made drainage channels by plugging them with surrounding peat
- reshaping and vegetating steep-sided erosion gullies
- harvesting heather and mosses and spreading them over bare peat
- and work to support the restoration of sphagnum moss.
"The AONB Partnership’s peatland restoration work kick starts what is a pioneering project to explore and deliver natural flood management features to reduce flood risk in Weardale, as well as enrich the landscape and habitat of what is a beautiful area of countryside," says Kirsty Hardy, the EA’s project manager for the Weardale NFM scheme.
"Together with our partners we hosted a series of events in the Spring for the community to come along and find out more about the project. We’re now speaking with local farmers and landowners to identify any suitable locations for potential delivery of natural flood management features early next year."