Volunteers channelled their best efforts into a tidy up along the riverside through the Calder Valley.
The river stewardship tasks were aimed at reducing the risk of flooding in Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.
Debris was cleared from Nutclough Brook where in the 2012 floods the culvert entrances became clogged causing water levels to back up. The following day a work party including pupils from Calder High School, Mytholmroyd, cleared vegetation from a shoal on the River Calder near the Co-op garage in the village.
Thickets of brambles were cut back, whilst still leaving a border providing habitat for birds and insects, and large quantities of brash were raked off. This increases the capacity of the river channel at that point.
The idea is that a routine clean up to reduce vegetation on river banks and to remove debris which would otherwise block drainage outlets will complement larger scale infrastructure works that might be commissioned.
Anthony Rae, chair of Calder Future said: “It’s been a good start to the 2014 River Stewardship programme. Thanks especially to our volunteers, and if anyone would like to join future events just contact firstname.lastname@example.org Work like this will help reduce flood risk for our communities in the future.”
Calder Future, the district’s river partnership, which works with community volunteers has been asked by Calderdale Council and the Environment Agency to develop a river stewardship programme for 2014.