What is West Wolds Slow the Flow?

West Wolds Slow the Flow is an informal partnership, of like-minded individuals and organisations, which aims to reduce flooding in the West Wolds villages and surrounding areas using nature-based solutions. Geographically, we cover the parishes of Newbald, Hotham, North Cave, South Cave, Ellerker and Brantingham, which roughly corresponds with the 'Mill Beck Catchment'.

What is our Vision?

To use nature-based solutions to reduce flooding in our area, whilst achieving multiple benefits such as improvements to biodiversity, amenity and soil and water quality. This involves working in partnership with local residents and businesses, landowners and farmers, parish and county councillors, and officers of the Flood Risk agencies: East Riding Flood Risk Management, Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and the Ouse and Humber Internal Drainage Board (see Links).

Please see our Position Statement (May 2021) and Terms of Reference (adopted 17 Sept 2020), as well as our Introduction to Natural Flood Management Techniques (July 2021).

What are the Aims of WWSTF?

We are working with the East Yorkshire Rivers Trust and are affiliated with the Hull and East Riding Catchment Partnership, so work within their aims:

  • Promoting and developing sustainable drainage systems, including community engagement;
  • Restoring habitats and links to natural river processes;
  • Tackling diffuse pollution from urban and agricultural sources.

In terms of reducing flooding impacts and improving water and environmental quality within our catchment, we propose to:

  • Slow the Flow in some places, improve water flow in others - mindful that there is always someone downstream!
  • Use Natural Flood Management, or 'nature-based solutions', to catch and detain water where it falls, across all parts of the catchment;
  • Intercept, detain and direct flow paths;
  • Create controlled flow paths around groupings of property;
  • Take opportunities to use existing infrastructure, like ditches, to both expand attenuation capacity and detain water with leaky dams (whether woody or engineered);
  • Reduce surface water surcharge to foul sewers;
  • Aim to achieve multiple benefits with all of the above - enhance biodiversity, improve amenity, raise water quality.

How are we going to do it?

  • Develop this website as the core location for engagement and information;
  • Further develop and share our GIS data, to explain the flooding issues and the ways in which watercourses interact;
  • Carry out design workshops with residents, farmers, landowners and key partners to create sustainable flood management and environmental improvements;
  • Implement a range of community engagement projects, for example in monitoring rainfall and river flows, which will help us to understand the factors of flooding and warn us of future events;
  • Establish community responsibility to assist the authorities, for example by monitoring the state of watercourses and flow control points in an organised fashion;
  • Deliver the projects by:
    • Creating prioritised project listings, and reviewing funding or possible community activities;
    • Obtaining permits / approvals, e.g. Planning, Highway, EA watercourse;
    • Working with partners on delivery by or with them.
  • Review, Assess, Modify, Repeat!

How can you help?

The above 'simple list' points to a vast amount of work to be done, and we expect that this will be measured in years, if not decades - certainly not weeks or months!

You could help in a variety of ways:

  • As a local resident, you could share your knowledge of flooding or landownership. You could offer specialist skills (e.g. IT / website design, javascipt, engineering, hydrology, research, social media, marketing). Or something else we don't know about yet - you tell us!
  • You could share photos or other evidence of flooding issues;
  • As a farmer, you could help us with your expert knowledge of the land, how it drains and how it floods - and help us to find better solutions that work for both you and the community;
  • As a landowner, you could work with us to develop and implement proposals which work with nature to reduce flood impacts and enhance the quality and resilience of your landholding;
  • You may know of funding opportunities that are appropriate to our aims - you may even want to contribute!
  • As an organisation or agency, you can work with us to prove that there is nothing more effective than true partnership;
  • Schools and other education organisations - we would love to talk to you about how we can work with you;
  • All ideas are welcome - what haven't we thought of yet?

Talk to us! Email: info@westwoldsslowtheflow.org.uk