Making Space for Water symposium

Making Space for Water presented new evidence of the effect on moorland restoration works on flooding in a Symposium at the University of Manchester in May 2014. Researchers from the University of Manchester produced figures demonstrating that moorland planting does significantly slow the run-off following downpours.

Starting in 2009, one area of damaged moorland was left bare, one was re-vegetated with moorland plants such as heather, cotton grass, bilberry and cloudberry, and one was re-vegetated and the deep erosion gullies-blocked with small dams. The research found that re-vegetation was the key – it produced the greatest delay in water flowing off the moors after a heavy storm, although there was a smaller additional benefit from gully-blocking.

Researchers are now conducting mathematical modelling to predict what effect this will have on rivers flowing through communities downstream.


Making space for water symposium field trip - Kinder Scout

The symposium also discussed five years of evidence from the two other Defra-funded flood management demonstration projects which have been running at the same time:

These schemes are looking at large-scale practical land management – working with land managers, farmers and woodland owners to install log dams, plant trees, build earth mounds and enable farmland flood-plains.

The symposium also discussed other benefits, including purer water running into our reservoirs, increased carbon absorption to mitigate climate change and more varied wildlife.


Making space for water:

Slowing the flow:

Source to sea:


Press release
Symposium headlines

Water monitoring for the Making space for water project

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