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  • Robert Henry

Living Willow for Natural Flood Management

One of our latest projects has been installing living willow dams as an innovative method of natural flood management on the moors around Marsden and Saddleworth for National Trust.

The species was selected not to be too vigorous as to pose a management issue in the future and bundled into faggots. These were then transported onto the moor using a low ground pressure vehicle.

The faggots were dug in and staked into the position in the gullies with turves stacked up and pushed into them to give the willow enough contact to establish.

The effects was immediate after a heavy rain storm during the installation. Water was being stored behind the dams slowing the flow down to the valley below.

When the willow establishes the effect will be greater with the advantage of creating additional habitat on these moorland fringes.

This is part of a larger project that will see us carrying out a variety of natural flood management techniques across 3 sites in West Yorkshire.

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