A series of projects to improve green spaces, encourage tourism and business growth, and complement the Flood Alleviation Schemes with naturally managed flood risk are to be introduced across the Calder Valley.
Following a successful bid to the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF), funding has been awarded as part of a £1.3m package to support natural projects within the Calder Greening programme.
Delivered in partnership with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency, and with the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Calder Greening will look to create and improve green spaces across the borough, leading to many benefits.
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The proposed schemes will help provide an increasingly attractive natural environment, deliver new and enhanced wildlife habitats and improve biodiversity to an area of the Calder Valley totalling around 156 hectares.
The project also includes plans to utilise natural features to slow the rate of water runoff and increase the volume of water that the landscape can hold, reducing flood risk.
Starting in spring 2019, the programme will be delivered over three years through various mechanisms, from major flood alleviation schemes led by the Environment Agency, through to small-scale natural projects delivered by community volunteers, utilising local organisations and expertise and leaving a legacy for future generations to follow.
Coun Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, said: “We’re delighted to have been granted European funding for the Calder Greening programme, which will bring a wide range of long-term environmental, social and economic benefits and support our natural flood work.
“The landscape and topography of the Calder Valley may make the area susceptible to flooding, but by utilising the many natural features there are also opportunities for it to make a positive contribution to reducing flood risk. The project will also help make these natural areas more accessible for more people to enjoy.”
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Gail Hammond, Environment Agency Project Manager, said: “We are delighted the Calder Greening project has been granted ESIF funding and to be working in partnership to improve the environment in this way in the Calder Valley.
“This work will improve water quality, habitat for wildlife and help to reduce flood risk.
“It’s great that people who live in the area will not only benefit from the project but can also play an active part in improving their own environment.”