Watch: Natural flood management in Penny Gill

8th February 2019 - Derwent Catchment

New methods of reducing flood risk by slowing rivers using natural materials are being trialled in Flimby.

Woody debris has been installed in Penny Gill to slow its flow and help stop the culverts carrying water under Flimby village being overwhelmed following extreme weather.

The normal flow of Penny Gill:

The slower flow through the new installation:

Chris West, Project Officer, said: “To our knowledge this is the first time this technique has been used in West Cumbria. It’s inspired by research by Newcastle University’s Haltwhistle Burn project and we know it’s been successful elsewhere.”

The site is part of a wider natural flood management programme for Flimby. West Cumbria Rivers Trust is part of a multi-agency team working with landowners to identify opportunities to reduce flood risk. The new feature complements more formal leaky barriers which are also designed to slow water flow and the effectiveness of all the measures is being evaluated by Lancaster University.

The  Flimby Flood Alleviation project is led by the Environment Agency and involves Cumbria County Council, the Farmer Network, the Forestry Commission Flimby Flood Action Group and United Utilities. The natural flood management elements of the project are funded by DEFRA.