Volunteers tasked with stopping floods

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Residents are being charged with the task of helping to prevent future flooding by clearing the River Calder of vegetation.

Contractors moved in to the Mytholmroyd stretch last week to start removing excess vegetation growth from the river channel and its banks to ease the flow of water through the village and, therefore, help to reduce the risk of flooding.

And, as part of the works programme, they are inviting local people to come along to special training days to learn about vegetation management and how to tackle invasive species such as Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed.

The two taster sessions are being organised with Calder Future and will take place both mid-week and at the weekend - although dates are still to be set depending on the amount of people who declare an interest in the prject.

The project, which could be rolled out across the upper Calder Valley, is being funded by Calderdale Council as part of its flood risk reduction work in partnership with the Environment Agency.

EA project manager Andrew Coen said: “The work taking place at Mytholmroyd is an ideal opportunity to promote river stewardship, which is one of the elements of the Defra-funded project being managed by Calderdale Council to improve local flood resilience. River stewardship is about enabling communities to make decisions and take an active role in the management of their local rivers. By providing training for local groups, we can enable better management of the rivers and streams in the upper Calder Valley.”

Assessments carried out by the EA in Mytholmroyd, following the 2012 floods, showed that keeping control of vegetation growth would reduce the risk of the river overtopping its banks. However, the study also showed that removal of gravel from the river bed in the area near New Road bridge would not decrease the risk of flooding.

The vegetation clearance is expected to be completed by early December and will cover the river from Hawks Clough to Brearley Weir.