UK: Flooding caused by poor management and floodplain building, say experts
By Jessica Murray and Damian Carrington
Poor management of the rural landscape along with global heating and building on floodplains are the main factors that led to the floods that have engulfed towns in northern England, according to experts.
The risk faced by floodplain communities is exacerbated by the management of land upstream of the city. Intensive animal grazing leads to short grass and compacted soil, which is less able to absorb and hold water. There are no longer enough trees and plants to absorb rain and stop it from running straight into the river, [Roy Mosley, head of conservation and land management at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust] said.
Increased flooding is the biggest impact on the UK of the climate crisis, according to the government’s official advisers, the Committee on Climate Change. In July, the CCC said there were no areas where the government was preparing properly for climate impacts, though it said flood planning was making progress – with the exception of flash flooding.
In 2016, the planting of 40,000 trees above Pickering in North Yorkshire was credited with helping the frequently flooded town avert inundation during heavy rainfall by slowing the flow of water into the river and reducing its peak height. The £500,000 project was significantly cheaper than a proposed new flood wall.
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