Sunday, 27 December 2015

Bare Hills and Flooded Towns

Sheffield has escaped lightly so far in this period of serious flooding, the worst of the rain falling just a bit further north. It would be those living and working close to the city that would suffer as in 2007. More rain has fallen this time in West Yorkshire and Lancashire. The proximity of high land means that the fast flowing streams give people little time to prepare. But local conservationists are not open to questioning on their role:

There is not just one cause of flooding events becoming more serious. Some causes are clearly climate related. But land management practices are an essential consideration. Here and elsewhere we have argued recently for allowing more trees to grow in the hills. This country, unlike most others, has exploited the uplands over many years and we might have expected the conservation industry to understand that. Unfortunately they continue to cut down trees for pet projects that get funding. Trees are vital for encouraging rainwater to penetrate further into the ground instead of running off into streams and then on towards the lower land where people live. Dredging policy is also pursued for short term reasons protecting some farm land at the expense of populated areas. Bare hills do nothing to help the fight against floods though they're cherished by the grouse shooting industry. It seems that even some of the politicians who so far have always played the farmers tune have now been forced to accept this.

No comments: