A NEW flood management project is underway on the Stubbins Estate.

The first phase, completed in January, has seen local boulders and timber used to create 18 ‘leaky dams’ in Buckden Wood.

Nearby communities have experienced significant damage due to flooding in recent years and this project aims to reduce this risk.

The Stubbins Estate and nearby Holcombe Moor, cared for by the National Trust, is the focus of several projects to reduce flooding and restore peatland.

Irwell Vale, Strongstry, Chatterton and Ramsbottom have all been affected by flooding which has caused damage to properties and land in recent years. It is hoped local wildlife and their habitats will also benefit from the work along the brook that flows through the woodland into the River Irwell.

‘Leaky dams’ act as natural interventions in slowing the flow of water, rather than redirecting or stopping the water altogether.

10 stone dams have been built by placing large sandstone boulders from a local quarry at selected pinch-points along the brook, alongside eight timber dams using logs from the local woodland. Further down the catchment towards the Irwell, just above Strongstry, 10 smaller timber dams have also been created.

The dams have already had a huge impact on the significant amounts of rainwater seen in recent weeks.

Nik Taylor, ranger for the National Trust’s Stubbins Estate, says: “Reducing the risk of flooding is a big priority for us in our aim to protect and care for nature, and we’re so grateful for the support of the Environment Agency in making this project in Buckden Wood possible.

“We’ve seen the devastating effects that flooding can have on local communities and the environment, particularly in the River Irwell catchment area, and the use of these natural methods is a really important way that we can help to reduce this.

“Over the coming months, we’ll be monitoring the dams and moving onto the next phase of the project to build more small dams. We’ll also be working with volunteers from the local community to plant over 1,000 trees.”

Bunds and pools are also being created on Holcombe Moor to reduce flooding risks.