Call of the rewild: Releasing Britain's rivers to ease flooding
By Kate Ravilious
George Heritage and Neil Entwistle from the University of Salford studied the River Caldew in Cumbria; responsible for three major floods in Carlisle since 2010. Their results, published in the journal Water, show that the straightening, deepening and widening of the river has increased the rate at which sediment whooshes downstream, dumping its load in Carlisle and increasing the chances of overflow there. But where this upstream river maintenance has been relaxed they found the river has reverted to wandering, depositing more sediment upstream and reducing the clogging up in Carlisle.