Working horse helps save community from floods

  • A working horse is helping to protect a West Yorkshire community from flooding.

    Nathan joined volunteers to move large tree trunks across streams and brooks to slow the flow of water from the hillside into the main river in Calder Valley.

    Around 30 volunteers from environmental charity Slow The Flow Calderdale joined Nathan at Hardcastle Crags on 9 July to improve the flood defences.

    Bede Mullen from the charity told H&H Nathan was able to move the tree trunks “with ease”, and this would have taken much longer with mechanical winches.

    These help to slow the flow of water down, preventing surges of water in areas known to flood after heavy rain.

    Volunteer coordinator Adrian Horton said they are “very grateful” for the loan of Nathan, who was funded for the day through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    In 2015 the Boxing Day floods hit more than 3,000 properties in Calder Valley and caused an estimated £150million damage. It was also affected by two other floods in 2012.

    Simon Stokes, Calderdale’s natural flood management lead for the Environment Agency, said the volunteers have been working “tirelessly” since 2015 on flood prevention projects.
    “We welcome the chance to work in partnership with the group and the National Trust,” he said.

    “They have made a significant contribution to flood alleviation through identifying and developing natural flood management projects throughout the River Calder area.”

    Cllr Barry Collins, from Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, added using natural methods is one of the ways the council is working to reduce the risk of flooding.

    “Our newly appointed natural flood management specialist is working closely with other organisations and the local community to develop exciting natural projects, and the work at Hardcastle Crags is one example of this,” he said.

    “We really appreciate the commitment, enthusiasm and valuable contribution of local volunteers in supporting this important work.”

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