Call for landowners to stop upland heather burning as new research shows link to increased flood risk

New research from Leeds University into the impacts of permitted heather burning on upland peat bog shows that for the 20% biggest storms, the flow of water over land is higher than in areas where the moorland has not been burnt.

This will contribute to “flashy” river flows in the valleys below the moors, with the water level rising quickly and causing flooding. Continue reading

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Thanks to the 349 people who signed #BanTheBurn petition

Thanks to the 349 people who signed the Ban the Burn petition (including one enthusiastic or forgetful person who signed it twice!).

The petition calls on Natural England and Defra to ban heather burning and drainage ditches on blanket bogs, and stop loopholes in the Heather and Grass Burning Code, and other relevant regulations and laws, that can be used to create exemptions to the ban on burning and draining blanket bogs.

I’ve now posted the petition (with all 12 pages of the list of signatories) to Andrew Wood, Executive Director Evidence and Policy at Natural England, and George Eustice MP, Defra Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for farming, food and marine environment.
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Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

Two cheers for Natural England’s plan to phase out blanket bog burning

Hebden Bridge flood activist group Ban the Burn has raised two cheers for Natural England’s new guidance that restoration of all degraded blanket bog is possible and that landowners should phase out blanket bog burning because of the damage it causes.

The group is sending Natural England its comments on the draft guidance, and hopes that as many people as possible who are affected by the way blanket bogs are managed will also read the draft guidance (embedded further down this page) and email their views in to Natural England.
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Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

No, Minister – you are not spending what is needed on flood defences

By Guy Shrubsole, 30th October 2013

(Shared from the Open Democracy website under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 licence.)

Last night, Owen Paterson, the UK Secretary of State for the Environment, claimed that he has not cut funding for flood defences. The House of Commons Library disagrees.
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Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

Draft flood risk model for Hebden Bridge

Participants in PhD student Shaun Maskrey’s second Flood Risk Modelling Workshop in July worked hard to draft networks showing how flood risks work in Hebden Bridge.

John Woods of the Environment Agency helped Shaun to facilitate the workshop and Christina Hooley at Treesponsibility did the catering.

Shaun’s first workshop introduced the idea of using Bayesian networks to cope with uncertainties about how different variables affect flooding. After this bracing start, participants had worked in two groups to identify actions, or “interventions” that could reduce flood risk in Hebden Bridge.
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Worse floods ahead as climate warms

Paul Brown of Climate News Network reports on a new study of “atmospheric rivers” – bands of enhanced water vapour in the earth’s atmosphere. The study shows they are becoming bigger and holding more water vapour as the earth’s atmosphere warms.

“Atmospheric rivers”, airborne corridors of concentrated moisture which carry huge volumes of water, are set to get wider and longer, causing more frequent and catastrophic floods as the atmosphere warms.
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Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

Hebden Bridge residents start to create model for reducing flood risks

Under the guidance of PhD geography student Shaun Maskrey and the Environment Agency’s John Woods, Hebden Bridge residents and organisations last week attended the first of five workshops, where together we’ll create a model for reducing flood risks in the Hebden Water catchment.

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