New Hall wood is the first site that our team will be working on.

We are excited to announce our new natural flood management (NFM) project, taking place on sites around Stocksbridge and Bradfield, thanks to £130,000 of funding provided by the Environment Agency (EA).This work is part of the larger Upper Don Source to Sea programme which in turn is part of the Connected by Water action plan for South Yorkshire which you can read about here.  

The project will install a range of NFM measures at 12 different sites, including New Hall Wood, Wharncliffe Heath Local Nature Reserve, and Glen Howe Park. One of the measures being installed are so called “leaky dams“, which are barriers made from natural materials that help to slow down the flow of water and increase the amount of water that can be stored in the catchment. The first leaky dams are currently being installed along the brook in New Hall Wood.

A team of our volunteers sitting on a newly installed leaky dam in New Hall Brook.

In addition to the leaky dams, the project also includes installing new ponds and restoring existing ones, as well as planting 7,500 trees in the catchment of the Upper Don. These native trees will intercept rainfall and help to reduce peak flow during heavy rainfall events. Although this is a pilot project it is hoped that the combination of NFM measures will lead to a measurable reduction to the risk of flooding.  

This project is a collaboration between the Steel Valley Project, the Environment Agency, and Sheffield City Council. It’s designed to protect homes and businesses at risk of flooding by increasing the amount of water that can be stored in the catchment and slowing down the flow of water into river systems during high rainfall events.

But it’s not just about flood protection. The project will also create areas of wetland habitat and provide opportunities for volunteers to learn new skills. If you’re interested in getting involved, you can volunteer with the Steel Valley Project and help out with this important work.

The impact of the project will be measured over the next five years, and the data recorded will be used to inform future natural flood management projects.

This is a widescale project and will keep our team and hard working volunteers busy well into 2024, so do keep checking back to our blog and social media channels for more updates on how we are progressing. #upperdonnfm

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