Landowners could benefit from new source of support - but link-up quickly

A PARTNERSHIP group which aims to treat eroded land around the valleys in Todmorden has received some key support and hopes a funding bid has been successful.

Now they are appealing for local landowners who might benefit from the project to contact them in order to finalise the funding bid.

Members of the SOURCE partnership are celebrating news that they have been given preliminary support from the Environment Agency to treat damaged, steep and eroding land in the Cornholme and Walsden valleys.

Working closely with the Environment Agency, SOURCE will hear if the funding is confirmed by the end of April.

Aimed at minimising the amount of sedimentation in watercourses, the money will support activities such as tree-planting on hillsides, revetments for eroding stream-banks, and measures to reduce land slippage.

Dongria Kondh, project co-ordinator, said: “It is very exciting news, but quite hectic too – we’ve been given just four weeks to finalise all the details for a £155,000 investment programme over the next two years, of which £70,000 will come from the Environment Agency, with match-funding from Morewoods (via the White Rose Forest), the Forestry Authority, SUMA Wholefoods, among others.

“It is not too late for owners of damaged land to join the scheme but they need to contact us as soon as possible, so that we can include these sites in our budget.

“There would be no cost, and in some cases we might be able to cover fencing as well.”

The SOURCE partnership was launched last summer with the aim of ecological restoration in the upland catchment above Todmorden, and members now include regional organisations such as Pennine Prospects and White Rose Forest, as well as Calderdale Council and local environmental groups such as Treesponsibility, The Calder and Colne Rivers Trust, the Upper Calder Valley Wildlife Network, Todmorden Moor Restoration Trust, and Calder Future.

Simon Hildon, of the Environment Agency, said: “The SOURCE is a fantastic example of community led work to improve the local environment.

“If the SOURCE gets the proposed funding the work will help to reduce sediment clogging up watercourses which can improve habitats and has the potential to reduce local flood risk.”

Landowners interested in taking part in the scheme are asked to contact Dongria on 07847815926, or by email to treesponsibility@yahoo.co.uk