HALTWHISTLE PROJECT SHOWN AT COP26
Our natural Flood Management (NFM) project in Haltwhistle is being highlighted as an example of international best practice at the COP26 summit in Glasgow this week.
The three-year project to improve water quality and relieve flooding impact of Haltwhistle Burn has been captured as part of a short film which will be shown to delegates at the international climate change conference.
The project was the first of its kind in the Tyne catchment, using natural materials rather than hard engineering to slow the flow of water during heavy rainfall, reduce aggravated erosion and improve water quality.
Working with Newcastle University, we created four ponds as the first line of defence – which help to hold back the water, reducing the risk of flooding in the town and the erosion of the catchment.
Further downstream, a ‘Kerplunk’ system made up of a 60m ‘ladder’ of criss-crossing logs pinned into the banks of Slaty Sike, a tributary of the burn, slows the flow of water during periods of intense rainfall, trapping sediments and rocks just like the marbles in a game of Kerplunk.
Due to the steep nature of the site, the 10 tonnes of wood needed for the work, which was sourced from the site itself, was hauled to the burn by a traditional logging horse named Jimmy. This made it a very carbon efficient project.
Six years on, the site is still working well and is championed as an example of Nature-based solutions for effective catchment management.
Dr Ceri Gibson. CEO at Tyne Rivers Trust says: “The UK has seen an increase in the number of extreme weather events over the past decade and natural flood management using green engineering is a sustainable and sympathetic way to help us cope with our changing climate.
“The project is quoted frequently so it’s fantastic that it is also getting recognition on an international level and I hope it persuades others of what can be achieved with natural materials.”