Slow the Flow project needs extra £40k

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The pioneering scheme of building dams and storing potential flood water sweeping into Pickering needs a further £40,000.

Town councillors were given the news by Ian Thompson, area flood and coastal risk manager for the Environment Agency in North and East Yorkshire, who said the £2.5m Slowing the Flow project needs the additional money to complete the work which is being carried out at Newbridge, just north of the market town.

Mr Thompson said all partners in the venture – seen as one which could be replicated in other flood hits areas of Britain – were being asked to help contribute towards the funding gap.

He added that the scheme would not be completed before the autumn of this year. North Yorkshire County Council and Ryedale District Council are also being asked to contribute.

Pickering’s Town Clerk, Andrew Husband, said the Pickering council had already agreed to contribute £5,000 towards the ongoing maintenance of the defence work. A decision is expected to be made shortly by the town council.

Meanwhile, the North York Moors National Park Authority, says it has planted 8,500 trees as part of the Slow the Flow project, many by volunteers.

“Trees can play a huge part in absorbing surface water run-off and reducing peak flow flooding,” said Rachel Pickering, the park’s conservation officer.

Some 18 timber dams have also been built across watercourses, and numerous moorland gullies had been blocked with bales of heather on the Levisham Estate. Heather brash has been spread at the Hole of Horcum to aid re-vegetation as part of drainage improvement work.

l Pickering has a long history of flooding, with major incidents in 1999, 2000, and 2002 when some 20 properties were hit in each case, mainly in the Park Street, Beck Isle and Market Place areas. In 2007, some 85 properties were flooded, causing an estimated £7m of damage.

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