Flood plans revealed for Stoneclough, Prestolee and Ramsbottom

NEW multi-million dollar plans to protect homes from flooding in Radcliffe have been unveiled – more than five years after the devastating floods on Christmas Day.

About 80 homes in the Stoneclough and Prestolee area will benefit from state cash.

It comes as the Environmental Protection Agency revealed how it uses “natural flood management” measures (NFM) to protect property and people from heavy rainfall.

Residents were devastated by floods after storms hit the second day of Christmas in 2015 and last February, causing the Irwell River to burst its banks.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has now confirmed that a scheme for the Radcliffe area will be launched next year.

A Defra spokesman said: “The proposed Prestolee and Stoneclough flooding scheme will protect around 80 homes in the community while we continue to work hard to improve the community’s resilience to the increased risk of flooding due to climate change.”

It is predicted that this work will cost between £ 3- £ 5million.

This work – along with other schemes in Radcliffe and Redvales – will be complemented by a project carried out in partnership with Moors for the Future, the National Trust and Natural England as part of the Natural Flood Program.

This is designed to help slow the flow of floods in fast-reacting catchments such as Irwell Vale, Strongstry, Chatterton, Ramsbottom and the high-risk area of ​​Radcliffe and Redvales.

Workers are focusing on numerous small-scale, ‘slow-the-flow’ interventions that will help protect properties from the risk of flooding.

On Holcombe Moor, stone and peat dams have been erected in eroded gorges to limit the flow of floods. Sphagnum moss will also be reintroduced to allow the top layer of peat to hold on to more water.

Holcombe Moor is part of the West Pennine Moors, much loved by hikers from nearby Bury and Greater Manchester.

The heights are a precious environment where a bog has formed for more than 6,000 years.

Like many other Pennine areas, the industrial revolution and associated atmospheric pollution over the last 150 years caused significant damage to the peat surface along with other stresses, including heath fires, erosion, and local overgrazing.

The natural flood project is part of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s overall vision to develop flood management schemes that will not only reduce the risks to local communities, but also tackle climate change through carbon capture and new habitats for wildlife.

Sir James Bevan, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, said: “Natural flood management has a crucial role to play in helping the country adapt to climate change, and this program demonstrates the enormous benefits it can offer to also reduce the effects of floods. to capture carbon and create habitats for wildlife.

“In the future, we will do even more to use the power of nature along with conventional defenses to help create a nation that is more resilient to climate change.”

Holcombe Moor

Jennifer Bridgeland Environment Agency Flood Risk Advisor said: “The NFM program has shown us what we can do together. In addition to curbing the flow of floods, these measures will have many other benefits, such as creating wildlife habitats and greener areas. to our society.

“The improvements at Holcombe Moor are proof of the success of working together.

“By using the power of nature to reduce the risk of flooding, we were able to find a solution that suited the needs of this particular environment, while complementing the wider traditional defense of £ 40 million downstream in Radcliffe and Redvales. .

“We hope the project will have long-term results in terms of carbon storage, nature recovery and future flood resistance.”

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