Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The effects of flooding on our waterways

We've had a lot of flooding in the UK this winter, some areas have been devastated, in some cases more than once as they've been affected by several storms.

Waterways, both rivers and canals, and the people and wildlife that use them and live near them are affected badly by flooding.

The Canal and River Trust is currently rebuilding the damaged waterways and has collected stories of how people and the environment have been affected by the floods.

Kingfisher perched on branch
Image: Kingfisher (taken with permission from the Canal and River Trust website) 

One of the problems that flooding causes for waterways is that the flood waters bring pollution and litter into the waterway. This makes life much more difficult for all the wildlife that use the waterways. For example, kingfishers and herons are unable to fish when the water is too churned up or too dirty. Kingfishers and dippers will find that the flooding has washed away some of their traditional nest sites. This happens regularly, I've seen dippers lose their nests along the Water of Leith, even when the water is only slightly higher than normal. It's going to be much worse this breeding season in areas of the country where flood waters have been very high.

You can read more about the effects of flooding on waterway wildlife in this article on the Canal and River Trust website.

Very often nature can be part of the solution. Tree planting in particular can help to minimise flooding as trees suck up water through their roots and help to bind the soil together, preventing landslides.  Treesponsibility, a climate action group plants around 10,000 trees a year across the Calder Valley. You can find out more about their work on the Cabal and River Trust website here.


Sandy said...

I have never thought of this aspect of flooding. We are having more of it in the past few years, too. Good article.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

It's the fast flooded rivers that are reckoned to have driven the kingfisher onto the cycle path I run along.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, flooding is horrible when it happens anywhere! Happy Tuesday, enjoy your week ahead!